Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)

#WaterCrisis: You're using too much water again, mayor says

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Dec 12, 2017

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Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille has wagged her finger at Cape Town's residents once again for using too much water. The City of Cape Town's Day Zero dashboard has revealed the city has increased its collective daily usage level.

The City has set its residents a daily consumption target of 500 million litres a day collectively - or 87 litres per person per day. But the latest barometer shows the usage has jumped from 611 million litres last week, to 628 million litres this week, peaking at 694 million litres on Monday.

"According to the latest consumption levels, only 37% of residents are using less than 87 litres per person per day," De Lille said in a statement. "This has decreased from 40% of residents last week."

As of Tuesday, the City of Cape Town’s dam levels stood at 34.2%, down from 35.1% last week.

"Consumption must be reduced drastically so that we move Day Zero further away. We thank the many residents who are saving water, but these consumption levels are alarmingly high at the start of a long dry summer," De Lille said.

Day Zero, when the taps run dry in the Mother City, is expected to arrive on May 18, 2018.

"We must step up our water-saving efforts and reach the target of 500 million litres per day so that we push Day Zero back. Day Zero will come sooner if we do not have everyone on board using 87 litres or less per day.

"Day Zero will come when we reach 13.5% dam levels and the City will turn off most taps. At this stage residents will have to collect water daily from around 200 collection sites across the city.

"The City has committed to doing everything it can to bring additional water online, but we can only beat this drought if residents keep saving. Even when new projects start yielding additional water, residents must not let up on saving water as it will take a few years for us to recover from the drought.

"The City is part of the Western Cape Water Supply Scheme. While the City accounts for approximately 64% of water usage from the scheme, the balance is used by agriculture and other municipalities in the Western Cape. Furthermore, evaporation contributes approximately 15% of water use during the summer months. Dam levels are impacted by a number of factors such as runoff from rainfall, transfers from other catchments, agricultural releases and evaporation.

"At this time of year, the heat increases the evaporation rate so intensified water savings are a must. We appeal to residents to please step up their water-saving efforts as we can only get through this together. The City will also continue its roll-out of water management devices to restrict households who are still using excessive amounts of water," De Lille said.

The City’s water dashboard is available here.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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