Today I want to call on all Capetonians to do more to save water. There are only 95 days left before we reach Day Zero. Day Zero has moved a day closer this week to 21 April 2018.
Day Zero is when the City will be forced to turn off most of the taps and every resident will have to queue for 25 litres of water per day.
The only way Cape Town can avoid Day Zero is if every single resident saves water. But this is not the case.
During the past week only 39% of Cape Town’s residents used less than 87 litres of water per person per day – compared to 54% during the first week of January.
I want to thank those residents who are saving.
Cape Town’s average daily collective consumption is still too high. It has increased to 618 million litres per day, up from 578 million litres per day.
For each day that Cape Town uses more than 500 million litres, the city moves closer to Day Zero.
Dam levels have dipped to 28,7% percent this past week – down by one percentage point. Only about 18,7% of this water is usable as the last 10% is difficult to abstract from the dams.
The City has ramped up pressure management to drive down consumption – aiming to stretch our water supply past the winter rainy season.
We have identified 25 areas across the city that could benefit from this pressure management technology over the next three months, and contractors have been brought in to speed up the programme.
Level 6 water restrictions, effective from 1 January 2018, aim to drive down consumption. All households that use more than 10,5 kilolitres per month will have a water management device fitted to their property’s water supply. This is part of the City’s commitment to work with residents to avoid Day Zero.
In addition, the City continues its work around the clock to bring additional water sources into our supply network. These projects include groundwater abstraction from the three aquifers around Cape Town, the three desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein and the V&A Waterfront, and the recycling of waste water.
These projects, however, will only ensure water security in the long run and we cannot relax our water saving efforts for one day. We must stay committed to saving water. It is the only way Cape Town can avoid Day Zero.
The City will continue working with residents to ensure that Cape Town’s taps don’t run dry. It is up to every resident to do his and her part to save water while we still have water to save.
The full dashboard can be viewed here: www.capetown.gov.za/dayzerodashboard
Patricia de Lille is Mayor of Cape Town