DIRECTOR: Richard Bosman

Cape Town has managed to reduce its collective daily consumption of water to 547 million litres, still 97 million litres more than the Level 6B restrictions target of 450 million litres, but enough to stave off the dreaded Day Zero.

Day Zero is when most of the taps in the city would be shut off in a bid to conserve the bare minimum amount of water in the Mother City's dwindling supply dams.

Day Zero has been moved further back to mid-May 2018.

Prior to the announcement by the City of Cape Town, there were just 71 days remaining on the countdown.

"Day Zero, the day we may have to start queueing for water, is expected to move out to mid-May 2018 due to a decline in agricultural usage," deputy mayor Ian Nielson said.

"But Capetonians must continue reducing consumption if we are to avoid Day Zero. There has not been any significant decline in urban usage. All Capetonians must therefore continue to use no more than 50 litres per person per day to help stretch our dwindling supplies."

The agriculture sector uses around 30% of Cape Town's water supply, Neilson said, and this should fall to 15% in March and 10% in April. 

"This is a welcome decline in water usage and gives Cape Town and some of the other municipalities hope but importantly, we need to get our consumption down to 450 million litres per day to prevent the remaining water supplies running out before the arrival of winter rains. We cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come, or when it will come," Neilson said. 

Dam levels were at 25.5%, he said.

Cape Argus