April 22 is Cape Town's new 'day zero'
Cape Town’s new “day zero” is April 22‚ just 103 days away‚ says mayor Patricia de Lille.
This is when nearly all taps in the city will run dry‚ De Lille said on Tuesday at a briefing about dam levels and the city’s water augmentation projects.
Extra water being extracted from aquifers was greater than expected‚ at 150 million litres a day‚ but this was insufficient to see the city through the summer.
“Consumption remains too high‚ with half of Cape Town’s residents still not keeping to the 87 litres of water per person per day. That means day zero has moved forward [by a] week‚” said De Lille.
De Lille said daily water consumption remained above the 500 million litres-a-day target while dam storage levels had fallen below 30%.
“If each and everyone of us makes sure that we use less than 87 litres of water per day‚ we can stretch the little bit of water that we have even longer‚” she said.
Preliminary indications were that the city would get 80 million litres a day from the Cape Flats aquifer‚ 40 million from the Table Mountain aquifer and 30 million from the Atlantis aquifer.
“Prime locations were identified to abstract more water from these three aquifers. Drill rigs will be moved onto site from this week in the Cape Flats aquifer‚” said De Lille.
The city is also expecting two of its four new desalination plants to start providing water in March.
Speaking about the proposed drought levy‚ De Lille said the city had decided to extend its public participation process to January 15 to accommodate more ratepayers.
The city has already received 40 000 submissions on the planned charge‚ which will kick in on February 1 if Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba gives his approval.
De Lille said only 464‚216 households would pay the levy‚ and of them only 52‚510 will pay the maximum of R150. Most would pay less than R47.
Correction: Please note that the last sentence has been corrected from the previous version that said "everyone else" would pay R47.