Cape Town ‘day zero’ water crisis will not happen in 2018: Maimane

 ·7 Mar 2018

DA leader Mmusi Maimane believes that the City of Cape Town and the wider region of the Western Cape may avert ‘day zero’ in 2018, thanks to the measures put into place to conserve water over the past several months.

“Everyone played their part in this city-wide collective effort to keep the taps open,” Maimane said on Wednesday. “Each week, the water consumption steadily dropped, and we were able to push back day zero by days, and then weeks, and then months,” he said.

“I am therefore happy to announce today that provided we continue consuming water at current levels, and we receive decent winter rainfall this year, Day Zero will not occur in 2018. This means the taps will stay open in 2018.”

Maimane said that consumption now sits at between 510 and 520 million litres per day – down from almost 1.2 billion litres in February 2015.

“This 60% reduction in consumption is an incredible achievement, and outperforms many other cities across the world which faced severe droughts – including Sao Paulo, Melbourne, and the State of California,” the political leader said.

Maimane thanked all residents and private water transfer providers for their efforts over the past several months, but cautioned that there was much work that still needed to be down over the long term.

“While it is now unlikely to occur in 2018, Day Zero is still a very real possibility during the 2019 summer months if we do not have significant rainfall this winter. I want to reiterate, and cannot stress enough, that we need to keep at current consumptions levels until at least after the winter rainfall.

“We can and we must continue to use less than 50 litres of water per day so that Day Zero can be defeated in its entirety,” Maimane said.

Through augmentation projects, Maimane said that the city would add an additional 190 ML per day to the supply system by the end of this year; growing to 220 ML in 2019; and ramping up to 300 ML in 2020.

Read: These 3 graphs show how Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ could be about to change

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