#DayZero: Cape Town buys one more month


Residents of drought-stricken Cape Town received good news Tuesday when city officials said they now face losing piped water to their homes by July 9 - a month later than last forecast.

"The Groenland water transfer and the reduction in our weekly average demand has had a dramatic impact on the Day Zero date, which is determined by assuming that the fortnightly trend of weekly dam storage change will continue unchanged", he continued.

A decline in water usage has allowed officials to move the dreaded date to July 9 from its previous date of June 4.

But Neilson warned Day Zero could creep forward again once the Groenland water was used up unless the city reduced consumption to 450 megalitres a day.

In the event that Day Zero does arrive, the water reticulation network will be turned off to 75% of the city and residents will have to collect water from points of distribution.

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According to the South African Weather Service, two of the driest seasons ever recorded for the city since observations started in 1921 happened in the last three years: In 2015 when 549 mm (21 inches) fell and last year - the driest year on record - when annual rainfall totalled 499 mm.

"We must all keep doing absolutely everything in our power to reach the target set by the national department to reduce our urban usage by 45 percent", said Ian Neilson, the deputy mayor.

The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has enforced strict waste controls including prosecuting homeowners who use significantly more than the current 50-litre daily limit. Our water saving efforts across the metro have thus far been our greatest defence against Day Zero.

Cape Town - Eleven vehicle washes were fined for using municipal water on Wednesday, the City of Cape Town has confirmed. "Now is definitely not the time to ease up", the deputy mayor said.