NEWS & ANALYSIS

Water dashboard reveals alarming high consumption trend – Patricia de Lille

Cape Town mayor says Day Zero has moved forward to 18 May 2018

Water dashboard reveals alarming high consumption trend

12 December 2017

As of today, the City of Cape Town’s dam levels stand at 34,2%, down from 35,1% last week.

The City’s water dashboard this week has revealed the following:

- Consumption has once again increased to dangerous levels, from an average of 611 million litres per day last week to an average of 628 million litres per day this week, while the daily demand spiked to 694 million litres yesterday. This means that many people have relaxed their water-saving efforts or, worse still, are ignoring the restriction measures. This puts us at risk of reaching Day Zero much sooner

- According to the latest consumption levels, only 37% of residents are using less than 87 litres per person per day. This has decreased from 40% of residents last week

- In terms of the City’s progress with our first-phase seven augmentation projects, these are at 50% completion

- These factors have moved Day Zero forward to 18 May 2018

Consumption must be reduced drastically so that we move Day Zero further away. We thank the many residents who are saving water, but these consumption levels are alarmingly high at the start of a long dry summer.

We must step up our water-saving efforts and reach the target of 500 million litres per day so that we push Day Zero back. Day Zero will come sooner if we do not have everyone on board using 87 litres or less per day.

Day Zero will come when we reach 13,5% dam levels and the City will turn off most taps. At this stage residents will have to collect water daily from around 200 collection sites across the city.

The City has committed to doing everything it can to bring additional water online, but we can only beat this drought if residents keep saving. Even when new projects start yielding additional water, residents must not let up on saving water as it will take a few years for us to recover from the drought.

The City is part of the Western Cape Water Supply Scheme. While the City accounts for approximately 64% of water usage from the scheme, the balance is used by agriculture and other municipalities in the Western Cape. Furthermore, evaporation contributes approximately 15% of water use during the summer months. Dam levels are impacted by a number of factors such as runoff from rainfall, transfers from other catchments, agricultural releases and evaporation.

At this time of year, the heat increases the evaporation rate so intensified water savings are a must. We appeal to residents to please step up their water-saving efforts as we can only get through this together. The City will also continue its roll-out of water management devices to restrict households who are still using excessive amounts of water.

Issued by Zara Nicholson, Spokesperson for the Executive Mayor, 12 December 2017