Riyaz Patel

As the summer draws nearer, it appears memories of the nightmarish ‘Day Zero’ scenario are fading as Capetonians are now using more water.

City officials say Cape Town is edging toward its maximum advisable level of water use after consumption increased to 644 million litres per day, the City announced Monday.

The City said although dams supplying the Metro are at just over 80 percent storage as a result of diligent water savings, 2019 has been drier than average.

Cape Town is still within its daily allocation of 650 million litres per day, but still way down from the 1.2 billion litres used per day in 2015. 

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Collective consumption, however, went up by two million litres per day last week, the City said. 

“After an extended period when Cape Town as a whole was exceeding our water-savings target, we are now approaching the maximum advisable level of water consumption,” said Xanthea Limberg, the mayoral committee member (MMC) for Water and Waste.

“As such, we advise residents to keep a closer eye on consumption updates over the coming weeks and react appropriately to ensure we do not start undoing our collective good work,” she added.

A massive water-savings campaign launched in 2018 during a prolonged drought saw severe restrictions, with consumption limited to 50 litres per person per day. 

A “Day Zero” emergency was put in place for people to fetch water rations if tap water supplies ran out. Bucket washes and grey water reuse also became the order of the day. 

Although the City is still within safe limits of water supplies, residents in some other parts of the Western Cape are in a perilous situation. 

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