Cape Town - Day Zero - the day the City will turn off most taps - has been moved closer by two weeks, to April 29, as water use continues to surge as the summer months set in.
Day Zero will come when dam levels reach 13.5%. At this stage residents will have to collect water daily from around 200 collection sites across the city.
Although some essential services will stay connected, almost all residential suburbs will be cut off.
According to the City’s water dashboard, all of the seven major water augmentation plans, including the completion of the V&A Waterfront desalination plant and the harnessing of the Cape Flats Aquifer, are behind schedule.
The City said total dam storage has fallen by 1.1%.
As of this week, dam levels stand at 33%. The City’s overall water usage rose to 641 million litres per day.
As of yesterday, only 34% of residents are saving water. Agricultural users also consumed water at a similar rate to the city.
The City is also taking drastic measures in rolling out an additional 40000 water management devices from January onwards to high-
consumption households ignoring water restrictions.
The City has already installed more than 21000 water management devices on the properties of high users to date and this will continue this month.
Level 6 water restrictions will come into effect from January 1 and all households who use more than 10.5 kilolitres per month will have a water management device fitted.
“The City’s teams will be working throughout the festive season to ensure that our average response time to leaks or burst pipes is under two hours and that we maintain the advanced pressure management system that is limiting demand,” the City said.
“Evaporation has been less than expected over the past week due to cooler temperatures, but as temperatures climb we can expect to see dam levels falling much faster,” City director of Water and Sanitation Peter Flowers said.
“If water consumption continues to rise, together with the very hot windy conditions which increase evaporation losses, we can expect Day Zero to happen as soon as March 18. This is a terrifying prospect.
‘‘Residential customers remain the largest portion of water users. If we can bring consumption down to 500 million litres per day, we will be able to avoid Day Zero.”