Day Zero, the day residents 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," said Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson.
"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."
Dam levels are at only 24,9% compared to 36,1% last year and 43,3% in 2016.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, said on Monday that the province continues to manage the ongoing water crisis with the goal of avoiding a situation where any municipality including the City of Cape Town runs out of water.
“We remain optimistic going forward that we will see the province into its usual winter rainfall period with some water left in the system, provided that water consumption continues to be driven down," he said.
Neilson added that 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," he said.
"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.