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CAPE TOWN - The Siemens AirDrop Initiative will allow travellers to swop their unused luggage allowance for litres of water as Cape Town battles with the worst drought in a century. 

To help raise awareness about the need to use water extremely sparingly in the Cape, Gautengers will be encouraged to participate in a social experiment and exchange five kilos of their on-flight baggage allowance for five litres of water. 

The experiment uses a voucher system: Passengers with enough unused (5kg or more) luggage will receive a voucher in Johannesburg and on arrival in Cape Town will receive a five litre bottle of water.  

It is on a first come first serve basis, there are 1 000 vouchers available

The company said travellers are allocated between 23-32 kilograms of luggage allowance - depending on the different airlines, and most of them don't use their full allowance.

"Travellers can participate by having their luggage weighed at the Siemens AirDrop stand, located in the check-in hall opposite the self-service check-in counters at OR Tambo International Airport," Siemens said in a statement.

Siemens further said that any travellers whose luggage is five or more kilograms under the weight limit will be able to ‘exchange’ their unused kilograms for litres of water.

Upon arrival in Cape Town, passengers can either collect their water to use during their stay, or they can opt to leave it at the collection point at Cape Town International Airport. 

The AirDrop collection stand will be in the arrivals area, opposite Woolworths. Uncollected water will be donated to Gift of the Givers.

The water has been pre-transported to Cape Town.

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Head of Communications for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, Keshin Govender told Business Report that Siemens AirDrop is a one-day social experiment to create awareness. This is not a long-term project, but intended to create awareness, highlight possibilities and inspire creative solutions during a crisis. "AirDrop is a case study for potential future projects," Govender added.

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This initiative will help raise awareness about water scarcity crisis faced not only by the Western Cape, but entire South Africa.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille revealed on Tuesday, "the City of Cape Town’s dam levels stand at 34,2%, down from 35,1% last week. 

De Lille noted that the water consumption has once again increased to dangerous levels, from an average of 611 million litres per day last week to an average of 628 million litres per day this week.

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