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Government must refund Cape Town for cost of managing the water crisis

Government must refund Cape Town for cost of managing the water crisis

Cape Town last week drastically cut water restrictions again from 87 litres a person per day to 50 litres - about two-and-a-half standard buckets - as it continues to struggle with a lack of rains that traditionally filled catchment areas and supplied the city and surrounding areas.

Cape Town residents may lose piped water to their homes within two months if they do not act to counter the effects of the worst drought to hit South Africa's second city in nearly a century. She does not believe people will comply, and Day Zero will be around April 12.

Residents have been urged to keep track of water usage by making use of the water dashboard on the City's website. However‚ if the water flow in the system is reduced too sharply‚ there is a risk of blockages and raw sewage leaks.

The daily ration has been set at 25 litres. Instead, it is exceeding the target by approximately 86 megaliters per day, the minister said.

Mokonyane was speaking as Day Zero is drawing near, threatening to make Cape Town the first metropolis in the world to run out of water.

A typical shower uses 15 litres per minute while a standard toilet consumes up to 15 litres per flush, according to WaterWise, a South African water usage awareness campaign.

Those with more money - and who are not prepared to endure the Newlands queues - can be seen filling up trolleys in supermarkets with five litre bottles of mineral water in an effort to augment their supply as they try to remain within consumption limits.

"While the Western Cape government continues to coordinate the current disaster, we can still avoid Day Zero if everyone remains within the limit".

Cape Town, which is South Africa's second-largest city, is also a top worldwide tourist destination.

Western Cape premier Helen Zille has been tweeting a number of personal water-saving tips, including using a "skottel" (dish) to bath in.

The cabinet was briefed by the Western Cape police commissioner‚ Major-General Khombinkosi Jula‚ about the "day zero" security plan for Cape Town.

A range of factors is thought to have aggravated the drought, including a surging population and economic development, poor long-term planning, limited investment in water management, and invasive "thirsty" species.

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