Drought-Stricken Cape Town To Lose Water Supply By April 12

Jan 26, 2018, 02:19
Drought-Stricken Cape Town To Lose Water Supply By April 12

Barring a major turn of events, one of the South African capital cities, Cape Town, will run out of water on April 12, or "day zero" as they're calling it.

What is worse is that the water levels at dams supplying the city have dropped 1.4% in the last week and video taken recently of the city's largest dam, Theewaterskloof shows an almost-barren reservoir bed.

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson on Tuesday announced that Day Zero had been brought forward by nine days, to April 12, due to a drop in dam levels.

The Western Cape region of South Africa was unprepared to handle three consecutive years of severe drought.

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Cape Town told residents last week they would need to cut their daily water consumption by nearly half from next month as authorities scramble to prevent the city running out of water.

Local authorities have warned four million people that if they do not reduce consumption by "day zero" - 12 April - they will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 USA gallons).

Strict water restrictions are already in force, limiting the maximum use per person to 50 litres per day.

City councillors are set to vote on the introduction of a punitive tariff, which will charge households using more than 6,000 litres per month higher water rates.

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"Day zero has been heading in one direction and that's towards us", said Christine Colvin, a resident and freshwater expert with the World Wildlife Fund.

She said they were attempting to "create scapegoats and shift the blame on the seriousness of the water crisis". Instead, she boils about 1.5 litres of water and mixes it with about a litre of tap water to have her daily wash while the rest of us catch the slow running water in a bucket for re-use in the toilet cistern.

"While the Western Cape government continues to coordinate the current disaster, we can still avoid Day Zero if everyone remains within the limit".

Queues are forming at natural springs around Cape Town as residents seek to minimise mains usage and build up emergency supplies of water.

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"And we have been pleading the ith national government to fulfil their responsibility of bulk water provision", said Zille.