The City of Cape Town has opened its Disaster Operations Centre that will carry out its Water Disaster Plan as Day Zero approaches.

The City’s Executive Director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman will be permanently seconded as Incident Commander to the DOC, the City said on its website.

“While the City is focusing all its efforts on beating back Day Zero, we do need to be prepared for a scenario where we take control of the City’s water supply in order to extend it into the winter months. We will shut off supply to taps when our dams reach a collective level of 13,5%,” it said.

The City continues to urge residents to reduce consumption as a way of avoiding Day Zero. “We must reduce current consumption to 450 Megalitres of total consumption a day. This equates to 50 litres per person per day. Many Capetonians have reduced their consumption substantially over the past few months, and we call upon all residents to join us in our savings drive.”

City officials said 200 points of distribution‚ or pods‚ would be activated when dam levels — currently 27.2% — reached 13.5%. Each individual will be allowed 25 litres a day.

Pods would operate for 12 hours‚ though the hours would be extended if people are still queueing.

Water tankers will be used to deliver water to vulnerable groups such as old age homes and care facilities. The City said it is also engaging retailers and the bottled water association to ramp up their distribution networks to increase bottled water supply so that those who do not want to use the water collection points can purchase water.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security‚ JP Smith‚ said: “We are entering a phase where we are entering the real possibility of a Day Zero. If we get to a Day Zero scenario we will handle it confidently. Queueing will be unpleasant but we handle our disasters smoothly in the city.”

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.