Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will meet with National Disaster Management and other key players today to discuss the current water crisis Cape Town is facing. Last week the city announced that Day Zero, which is on April 21, is most likely a reality for Capetonians.
Level 6B water restrictions will be introduced on February 1, with a new limit of 50 litres per day for 150 days to make up for the many months of missing the 500-million litres per day target. The new restriction will also limit borehole water and well points usage.
Zille will meet with disaster management to talk about what happens when Day Zero hits the city, and the contingency plans that will follow. Key role players include the SAPS, the South African Defence Force (SANDF) and the State Security Agency.
SA Breweries have also stepped up and offered their assistance to bottle and distribute water from the Newlands Spring. Zille will meet with them today too regarding their offer.
In her column in the Daily Maverick, Zille said:
There was bad news – catastrophic actually – on three fronts:
- Cape Town’s water usage went up again, to over 600-million litres per day, despite major efforts, over six months, to bring it down below 500-million litres.
- The SA Weather Service informed us that as far as forecasting goes, we are flying blind. Last year the forecast of a wet winter proved to be widely off the mark. On Friday, the SA Weather service told us bluntly: We cannot predict whether or when rain will come. Previous forecasting models have proved useless in the era of climate change.
- Day Zero – when the taps in suburbia are switched off – has moved from the realm of possibility to probability. There is no way in which water augmentation schemes will compensate for our ongoing failure to curb demand sufficiently in the short term.
She also said that she had called in the Province’s Head of Legal Services and said: “The crash the City has been trying to avoid now seems inevitable. We are bracing for impact. Sticking to the Province’s constitutional mandate of support and oversight is not enough in these circumstances.”
The answer she received was: “The legal test for provincial intervention in a local government mandate is when a municipality cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation. At the moment the City is focusing on strategies to curb water use, augment supply, prepare for Day Zero and communicate with citizens. When it comes to the functions of the national Department of Water and Sanitation, the province has no powers at all,” he added.
Read more: http://www.capetownetc.com/water-crisis/breaking-news-city-implement-level-6b-water-restrictions-day-zero-likely/