Today Day Zero has been arrested because of unusual summer rains. However, if this week’s consumption trend continues, it poses a great danger of bringing Day Zero forward.
The unseasonal rain has saved Day Zero this week only. Usually without rain, the dam levels would drop by as much as 1% per week. If it wasn’t for this rain, Day Zero would have come rushing forward by another fortnight due to the alarmingly high consumption. The City’s water dashboard is available here: www.capetown.gov.za/dayzerodashboard, with highlights as follows:
· This week’s dam levels stand at 36,1% – down from 36,2% last week
· Collective consumption has increased to 631 million litres per day
· The percentage of households using less than 87 litres per day: 36% (down from 44% last week)
· In terms of the City’ progress with its augmentation projects, this figure stands at 48%Together, these factors put Day Zero at 20 May 2017. Day Zero has moved back from being at 6 May 2018 last week. This change is attributed entirely to the rainfall.
It must be emphasised that an increase in consumption moves Day Zero forward. It is crucial that everyone does more to save so that we can reach the target of 500 million litres per day and move Day Zero even further back.
While we are thankful to the many residents who have been saving water, our new weekly water dashboard shows that there are still many residents who are not doing enough to comply with the target of 87 litres per person per day. This affects Day Zero when most taps will be turned off and residents have to queue for water from collection sites across the city.
This dashboard serves as a weekly reminder that we cannot relax our water-saving efforts even when there is rain as we are still seeing that when it rains, consumption increases.
While residents save, we will continue working harder to bring additional supply online as quickly as possible.
Day Zero can only be avoided if we work together in partnership. Savings must continue together with the additional water supply projects.
The immediate need is to reduce collective water usage to 500 million litres per day for Cape Town so that dam levels will drop more slowly and provide water throughout the summer season.