Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Cape Town issues new water restrictions as city faces zero water

RODGER BOSCH via Getty Images
People collect water from pipes in Cape Town on Jan. 19 RODGER BOSCH via Getty Images People collect water from pipes in Cape Town on Jan. 19
Faye Gross | 26 January, 2018, 02:18

Three consecutive years of water shortages all over South Africa has left Cape Town's rainfall dams at 27 per cent full.

Through making other behavioural changes, like not watering the garden, limiting the use of the washing machine to two cycles per week and re-using water wherever possible, we have been able to greatly reduce our daily consumption from around 18,000 kilolitres per month a year ago to the current 7,000 kilolitres per month.

The critically low Theewaterskloof dam in Villiersdorp.

In the meantime, Zille urged residents to stick to the limit of 50 litres a person a day.

Farmers have been asked to cut back on irrigation, auto hire firms have stopped washing cars, hotels have restricted all uses of water, while tourists in self-catering accommodation have been asked to restrict personal washing. The South African National Defence Force, military police, law enforcement and traffic officers would provide additional support.

Experts say it is unlikely the targets will be met.

"It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero".

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Meanwhile, the provincial Cabinet has resolved to take whatever steps are necessary to recover the money from the national government to cover the cost of the current water crisis interventions.

There are concerns that city authorities do not have a clear plan in place for standpoint distribution.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has slammed Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane for her department's role in the Cape Town water crisis.

Water levels at dams that supply South Africa's Cape Town fell further this week, data showed on Wednesday, the latest sign of a deepening crisis that could soon see people forced to queue for water rations.

Much of southern Africa recovered from a drought induced by the el Niño weather phenomenon after heavy rain in the summer.

A long drought as well as a booming population and poor city planning have exacerbated the situation.

But rather than investing in traditional water system infrastructure, California's Democrat-controlled legislature over the last decade has prioritized preparing for climate change and perpetual droughts by plugging $25 billion of infrastructure dollars into high-speed rail, water efficiency, renewable energy subsidies, and clean energy ‎rebates.

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