Africa

Cape Town drought continues as Day Zero looms

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Cape Town is suffering the worst drought in recorded history, with its dams less than 25 per cent full, as Day Zero, when it runs out of water, looms.

South Africa's drought-stricken tourist metropolis of Cape Town has reduced its daily water consumption by 60 million litres a day, pushing back the day it is predicted to run out of water.

"Day Zero", the day the city will turn off the taps, has been moved back by four days to April 16, mainly as a result of residents saving water, said Mmusi Maimane, who heads the Democratic Alliance (DA) opposition party that runs Western Cape province.

"It might not seem a lot, but it's significant," Maimane told journalists at DA headquarters in Cape Town. "It shows that we can beat Day Zero and we will."

Cape Town is suffering the worst drought in recorded history, with dam levels falling to 24.5 per cent this week from 25.3 per cent the previous week, and from nearly 38 per cent a year ago, according to a weekly update from the department of water affairs.

The city's 4.5 million residents have been using 540 million litres of water per day but need to reduce consumption to 450 million litres daily to avert Day Zero.

While reducing household consumption, the city is also implementing an emergency plan for desalination, groundwater and water reuse to make more water available.

A resident of Masiphumelele informal settlement collects drinking water from a communal municipal tap in Cape Town, South Africa, 30 January 2018.
A resident of Masiphumelele informal settlement collects drinking water from a communal municipal tap in Cape Town, South Africa, 30 January 2018.
AAP

From early February, Cape Town will receive an additional 67 million litres of water per day from the private Palmiet Kogelberg Dam near Cape Town, Maimane said.

By May, the various water augmentation projects should supply the city with 120 million litres daily, Maimane added.

Cape Town, located in the southern hemisphere, is currently in mid-summer, with the rainy season expected to start in May or June.

Source AAP - SBS

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