Day Zero looms

Nadia Williams said: "I think it's necessary. I don't drink tap water and I am at work all day, so the only water I use at home is to wash myself. I think the punitive tariffs should be put in place. It builds responsibility. People need to be saving water and being more responsible. The water crisis is real. I'm on the City's side."

Cape Town residents must make every effort to save water.

The City of Cape Town has announced that Day Zero will most likely be on Thursday April 12.

On this day the city’s water supply will be turned off and residents will have to queue to collect their 25 litre a day allocation of water at designated points.

But even as we face this bleak future, not enough water is being saved.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said more than half of Cape Town residents have disregarded the water saving measures despite several months of intense campaigning.

“Despite our urging for months, 60% of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day. It is quite unbelievable that the majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero,” said Ms De Lille.

The mayor said residents seem to be sceptical about Day Zero or think the City’s seven augmentation projects – set to produce around 200 million litres a day – will be enough.

“This is not the case and, while our water augmentation programme will make Cape Town more water resilient in the future, it was never going to be enough to stop Day Zero.

“The crisis has reached a new severity, necessitating a series of new emergency measures,” said Ms De Lille.

These include a punitive tariff, level 6B restrictions and advanced day zero preparation.

The punitive tariffs will mean residents will be charged exponentially more for water usage above 6 000 litres a month. Households and businesses that use 6 000 litres of water a month will be charged R145.98 instead of the current R28.44.

“Those who use 10 500 will be charged R390.82 instead of R109.50. Provision will be made for households with more than four people to ensure that they are not unfairly penalised.

Residents are urged to contact the City beforehand on or enquire at their nearest walk-in centre.

The level 6B restrictions, which start in February, with a limit of 50 litres a person a day instead of the current 87 litres a person a day, will hopefully make up for the many months of missing the 500 million litre a day collective consumption target.

The new daily collective target will be 450 million litres a day, and this will be in place for 150 days after which the City will reassess the situation.

Level 6B restrictions will also limit irrigation using water from boreholes and wellpoints.

The advanced Day Zero preparation includes 200 sites being assessed as water collection points. These will be announced from next week so that communities can begin preparing for that eventuality.

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