STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE DEPUTY MAYOR, ALDERMAN IAN NEILSON
Day Zero, the day we may have to queue for water, has moved out to 4 June 2018 due to the continued decline in agricultural usage, and also as a result of Capetonians reducing their water usage in cooperation with the City of Cape Town’s efforts to bring down consumption.
Team Cape Town, we are getting there. We now need to see how low we can go to ensure that we stretch our water supplies as far as possible into the winter months by reaching the 450 million litre per day collective consumption target which equates to 50 litres per person per day.
Over the past week, consumption has been lowered to 526 million litres per day. This is the first time that the weekly average usage has remained under 550 million litres due to the City’s pressure management interventions and the efforts by our residents to use as little water as possible.
Importantly, dam levels are at only 24,9% compared to 36,1% last year and 43,3% in 2016. Though the dam levels are much lower than a year ago, we have more information and more control over the system that supplies water to the city. Our continued interactions with the National Department of Water and Sanitation have led to much improved data-sharing and analysis, allowing for more reliable modelling and dramatically improved control over dam levels
A year ago, the average water demand was 830 million litres per day and the weekly change in dam levels was 1,9%.Two years ago water usage was more than one billion litres per day, resulting in a weekly change of 2,1%. If our dam levels were currently dropping at this rate we would reach Day Zero before the end of March. Our dam levels declined by 0,6% over the past week.
It is absolutely clear that when we need to pull together in this city, we can do so. If we continue to work as a team to lower our consumption to 450 million litres per day as required, we will become known as one of the most resilient cities in the world. We are fast becoming a leading example of a large city that is fundamentally changing its relationship with water.
We are very grateful to the farming sector, especially associations such as the Groenland Water Users’ Association for their water transfer to the Steenbras dam, and to the National Department of Water and Sanitation for facilitating this supply injection. In accepting this transfer, we acknowledge the sacrifices that many in the farming sector have made during this extreme drought.
The City will continue to implement pressure management to reduce usage, to install water management devices at the properties of high users and to conduct blitzes to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions. All preparations for the possibility of reaching Day Zero also continue as planned.
We must all keep doing absolutely everything in our power to reach the target set by the National Department to reduce our urban usage by 45%. Level 6b restrictions make it compulsory for residents to use no more than 50 litres per person per day to stretch our dwindling supplies through summer and into the winter months and thereby avoid the drastic step of having to queue for water.
See the following link for the new tariff details: http://bit.ly/WaterTariff
Please visit www.capetown.gov/thinkwater to see what a community water plan could look like community_water_plan for all water-related information, including Level 6B restrictions and regularly updated FAQs about Day Zero as well as tips to lower usage even further.
Also visit www.capetown.gov.za/watermap to see if your household is painting the city green to avoid Day Zero.