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May : Cape Town drought crisis reaching critical point

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17 May, 2017

Cape Town drought crisis reaching critical point

Drought crisis

With dam levels now at 21,2% (storage levels) and the last 10% of water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 11,2%. The City of Cape Town has warned all residents and businesses to cut non-essential municipal water use immediately.

The City's Mayoral Committee is expected to recommend to council the implementation of Level four water restrictions on Tuesday, 16 May 2017. This would entail a ban on all use of municipal water for outside and non-essential purposes.

Water use 'catastrophically high'

"We are essentially saying that you are only allowed to use a bit of water for drinking, cooking and washing. We are reaching a critical point in this drought crisis. Although we continue to work non-stop to force consumption down, overall use remains catastrophically high. This is not a request. We have seen huge saving-efforts, but the unseasonably hot autumn is exacerbating the situation and we must all do more.

"Rain or shine, we are now at a point where all consumers must use below 100 litres per day. Stop flushing toilets when not necessary, shower for less than two minutes a day or use a wet cloth for a ‘wipe-down', collect all would-be wasted water and use it to fill up toilet cisterns, among others," said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Dredging operations at Voëlvlei, Theewaterskloof dams

Dredging operations have started at the Voëlvlei Dam to prepare for low-level extraction of water. The city is engaging with the lead authority, the National Department of Water and Sanitation, as a matter of urgency to request dredging operations at Theewaterskloof Dam too.

The city continues with its pressure reduction programmes across the metro which forcibly reduces supply at a given time. Other emergency interventions are under way, and if required, the city will start to implement a lifeline supply of water across the metro.

"In a severe drought such as what we are dealing with, the only real immediate intervention is to cut usage. Over this coming week, we must bring consumption down with 100-million litres of water per day. The city also warns businesses to start implementing contingency and alternative water measures in their own operations," said Limberg.

Source: Biz Community

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