WESTERN CAPE -Cape Town estimated Day Zero has been moved to 9 July 2018, due to a weekly drop of 0.5% in dam levels.
The Day Zero, which was initially planned for 16 April 2018 was moved out early this month to 11 May 2018, due to a decline in agricultural usage.
City’s Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson said that this week’s lower rate of consumption can be attributed to the Groenland water reaching Steenbras Upper Dam last week and slightly increasing the dam level, as well as to a further reduction in Cape Town’s weekly average demand to 523 megalitres per day (MLD), compared to 1 130 MLD in 2014.
“The Groenland water transfer and the reduction in our weekly average demand has had a dramatic impact on the Day Zero date, which is determined by assuming that the fortnightly trend of weekly dam storage change will continue unchanged.
“This precautionary outlook assumes no further rainfall and that water demand may not reduce over the next few months. It has been adopted to allow sufficient lead time for implementation of temporary water collection points in the event that these may be required,” Neilson said.
Neilson said they anticipate that Day Zero could move back into June again, once the Groenland transfer has been completed, unless they are able to meet the 450 MLD collective water usage target.
He urged the residents of Cape Town not to ease up on their water-saving efforts.
“We cannot afford to slow down when the estimated Day Zero date moves out, simply because we cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come or when it will come. Last year, we had abnormally low winter rainfall, and we cannot assume that this year will be any different.
“The only way we can stretch our water supplies is to adhere to the 50 liters per person per day water allocation. Our water saving efforts across the metro have thus far been our greatest defence against Day Zero. Now is definitely not the time to ease up,” the Deputy Mayor said.
He also thanked the Groenland Water Users Farming Association for the water transfer, noting that it made a considerable difference when they needed it most.
Preparations for Day Zero continue as planned
Meanwhile, Neilson said that the preparations for Day Zero continue as planned, along with the city’s aggressive roll-out of pressure management initiatives and the installation of water management devices at the properties of high users across the metro.
“Enforcement blitzes will also continue to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions. Level 6B restrictions make it compulsory for residents to use no more than 50 litres per person per day.”