Cape Town - Day Zero has been cancelled for 2018 and 2019 provided the 4.5 million Capetonians stick to the restrictions.
The levels of the dams supplying water to Cape Town have been rising consistently and significantly over the past six weeks, said Deputy mayor Ian Neilson. As at today, 28 June 2018, total dam storage capacity is at just over 43%, and there is still more than two months of expected winter rainfall ahead. Over the last few months, the collective water usage has been around 520 million litres per day.
Day Zero - the day when most of the taps will be turned off – will not happen anytime soon after massive water savings and recent winter rains that have filled up dams, Neilson explained.
"Having analysed this new data, we are now in a position to state that not only have we managed to avoid Day Zero this year, but we will also safely get through summer in 2019.
"This is due to the amount of water already in the dams, our intense water demand management programmes, our unrelenting communication, awareness and the behavioural change it has effected over the past two years, as well as the continued support and sacrifice of Team Cape Town," Neilson said.
"While we hope to reduce the current restrictions in the near future, and the tariffs associated with them, that decision is dependent on National Government relaxing restrictions on releases from the water supply system. If the National Department of Water and Sanitation agrees to relax restrictions, we expect to be in a position to proceed with a stepped reduction of water restrictions and the associated tariffs.
"I have requested a meeting with the National Minister of Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti, to discuss this and other matters pertaining to our future water resilience as a matter of urgency."
Neilson explained that now that we have navigated our way through the immediate drought crisis, it is necessary that to review the water supply strategy and augmentation plans.
"We are in the process of reassessing our New Water Programme; in particular, our future water mix and the role of permanent desalination in the supply mix.
" In partnership with the custodian of water resources, the National Department of Water and Sanitation, we also need to address critical issues such as resource allocation and inter-basin transfers to ensure the sustainability of our water resources. Many operational challenges and deficiencies came to light during this drought.
"The City and National Government will need to sit down and work through these issues thoroughly to ensure that future drought management is effective and has minimal impact on economic activity and public well-being."
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In a prior story from May, City of Cape Town’s R49bn budget accepted, the Cape Argus also tackled how the budgets affects the water tariffs:
The City announced that it would do away with plans for punitive water tariff increases of 55% for households which consume less than 6kl a month. The new tariff increase for this consumption bracket will be 10.10%.
Those who use more than 6kl but less than 10.10kl have been spared a planned 6.26% increase.
There will be no price increase for the moment for this level of water usage.
Residents were granted further reprieves by way of big cuts in planned tariff increases for sanitation.
For the group that required less than 4.kl a month, a tariff increase of 78.71% has been slashed to 9.87%, while no tariff increase will come into play for usage of between 4.2kl and 7.35kl a month.
A proposed increase in property rates has been lowered from 7.2% to 6.5%.
The amended new water programme is now proposed to comprise R14.1bn over the next five years instead of the originally proposed R19bn.
Please visit www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater for all water-related information.