A decrease in water usage by the agricultural sector has pushed out Day Zero to mid-May, according to the City of Cape Town. In a statement released on Monday, Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson, said Day Zero is expected to move to mid-May 2018 due to a decline in agricultural usage. He emphasised that Capetonians must continue reducing consumption if we are to avoid it altogether.
The dam levels are currently sitting at 25.5%.
Neilson said that there has not been any significant decline in urban usage and all Capetonians must therefore continue to use no more than 50 litres per person per day to help stretch our dwindling supplies.
“Many of the agricultural users in the Western Cape Supply System, where the City also draws its water from, have used up the water allocated to them as per agreement with the National Department of Water and Sanitation.
“Agricultural usage is therefore likely to drop significantly over the next weeks. Currently, the agriculture sector is drawing about 30% of the water in the supply scheme. This should fall to approximately 15% in March and 10% in April. It must be noted that the City does not have any control over agricultural releases, so this is the best estimate we can make with the information at hand.
“This is a welcome decline in water usage and gives Cape Town and some of the other municipalities hope but importantly, we need to get our consumption down to 450 million litres per day to prevent the remaining water supplies running out before the arrival of winter rains. We cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come, or when it will come,” said Neilson.