Cape City braces for unrest as water disaster worsens

09 February, 2018, 07:09 | Author: Bert Pena
  • The 49th edition of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is set to tackle the water crisis in Cape Town

Continued water savings were essential to avoid this point, dubbed "day zero", said Maimane.

Chauke says clarity is needed around the prospect of day zero in Cape Town.

"The city had been operating on level 4 restrictions and running on 600 million litres a day‚" he said.

"We can not afford to lose momentum now - we must keep going".

The head of Parliament's Water and Sanitation Committee wants a straight answer to the question on every Capetonians' lips - will day zero arrive?

"We can avoid that possibility if we manage the demand by adhering to the restrictions and ensuring that they apply particularly to the big water users". "There has not been any significant decline in urban usage".

"Residents should shop smartly for their bottled water". It is the largest of five major dams supplying drinking water to the city. "Once they have reached their quota, they are required to apply to National Government for additional supply".

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Cape Town's acting mayor, Ian Neilson, said the agricultural sector had drawn down its full allocation from the Western Cape water supply system by January, while the city had drawn down just a quarter of its allocation for the hydrological year, which begins in November. Agriculture had been allocated 58-million cubic metres of water, he said.

Maimane detailed some of the demand management techniques being introduced by the City - these include pressure reduction across zones, the installation of water management devices, and increased tariffs for those using more water than the daily allowance.

Neilson said when alternative water sources were being looked at‚ tenders had been issued for desalination and it only later became apparent that it was the most expensive option.

The Cape Flats aquifer is on track while the Atlantis aquifer is already producing 5 million litres a day.

Further, the city can expect a shortfall in revenue, as water use decreases and the revenue collected from water use in Cape Town, which now makes up about 10% of the city budget, declines.

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