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Cape Town residents told water supply likely to be cut off

The city has ‘reached a point of no return’.
Cape Town’s CBD will be excluded from the 'Day Zero' measures to reduce harm to the local economy, as will areas of informal housing that lack standard city services. Picture: Moneyweb

Authorities in the drought-stricken South African city of Cape Town have told residents that it is “now likely” that water supplies will be cut because of dwindling levels in dams serving the country’s second-largest metropolis.

Cape Town will impose tighter water restrictions starting February 1, limiting each resident to 50 litres a day, compared with 85 litres now, it said in a statement Thursday. Authorities said earlier this week that they currently estimate “Day Zero,” the date when the city estimates it will have to cut off supplies to consumers, to be April 21.

The city has “reached a point of no return,” with about 60% of residents failing to meet existing curbs on water use, it said. The new limit will be in place for 150 days and then reviewed. Major dams in the Western Cape province that supply the city have dropped to 28.7% of capacity compared with 43% a year ago and 93% in 2014, figures on the city’s website show.

“It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero,” the city’s media office said in a statement. Many of the city’s four million residents are “callously” using too much water, it said.

Consumption was 618 million litres a day last week, compared with the target of 500 million set by authorities. January, February and March are typically among the driest of the year in the city, which usually gets its heaviest rainfall in June, July and August.

Cape Town’s central business district will be excluded from the “Day Zero” measures to reduce harm to the local economy, as will areas of informal housing that lack standard city services. City lawmakers will vote Friday on plans to impose increased charges for water of as much as seven times for the heaviest users.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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I know of people in Cape Town that asked their domestic worker to ‘please use little water’ as their water was almost finished. Now she is very good hearted, so the next day she arrived with 5l of water for them saying ‘we have lots of water in Khayelitsha so I brought you some.’

I’m just saying that maybe not all in Cape Town is aware of how serious this problem is.

Just a thought to consider: If you have to walk over a km to fetch water and carry it back in 25l cans to your home, I reckon your water consumption is going to be pretty conservative. Not temporary due to some grand and deep understanding of a dire situation, but simply due to exertion.

Secondly if you don’t have a bath, a washing machine, a dishwasher, a garden, heck not even running water – wasting water without a care, actually require some effort.

It would be nice to read about some concrete actions to solve the problem long term. Did anyone discuss building a pipeline, desalination plants, etc?

I heard the last guy that proposed a solution sold it in Australia.

Where are all the groot-beks saying Cape Town was not going to run out of water?

Densification and over-development without increased water storage was a disaster witing to happen.

Well at least the DA have done something Zuma or Julius could never achieve….reducing everyone (including all those living in R100Million houses, through to R6MIllion Kenilworth townhouses, through to indigent houses) to using the potty system and standing in long lines for their measly 25 litre daily ration of H2O.

Viva DA, Viva!

this is what you get from the spoiled fairy tales of the new SA, when trained experts and knowledge left SA due to political influence, the drought has been forthcoming for a long time – years already. Even DA to busy to play politics and hold on to the stronghold Cape Town, that they forget about anything else.

When SA was in isolation it managed to create fuel from coal, we had the knowledge and expertise to create first in the world systems and innovations, and today …nothing, all sit and wait for D-day, while the engineers and knowledge sits in Europe and USA building rockets and skyscrapers, this could have been prevented, if politicians were not so self centred and believed in the utopia of Azania of free running water for all.

End of comments.

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