Blame rains down as Cape Town counts down to zero

Blame rains down as Cape Town counts down to zero

"The question that dominates my waking hours now is: When Day Zero arrives, how do we make water accessible and prevent anarchy?"

Residents have been urged to keep track of water usage by making use of the water dashboard on the City's website.

Unfortunately, residents are already on edge, with legal restrictions keeping them from using more than 13 gallons per day.

The City will announce the date on which nearly all the taps in Cape Town's residential suburbs will be cut off one week before the dams servicing the province collectively reach 13.5%.

"This means that from February onwards there should be more water available for supplying Cape Town itself".

The mayor also announced the city moved "Day Zero" up a day because of the overuse of water.

"The City of Cape Town, now on Level 6 restrictions, are still not achieving their target of 500 megalitres per day and are over by approximately 86 megalitres per day".

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"We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water". Dam levels have dropped to 15.2 percent capacity of usable water, down from 77 percent in September 2015, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Despite warnings since 2004, local government officials are criticizing South Africa's national government for its slow response to the crisis.

But other experts say city planners failed to anticipate that the city's six dams, which are sourced by rainfall, would run out of water as drought worsened and the population grew, Fihlani says.

The premier of South Africa's Western Cape province, Helen Zille, has reached out to South African President Jacob Zuma, regarding the situation as a national disaster, moving from a threat to an imminent crisis.

"The City is installing thousands of water management devices on the properties of high users and ensuring that we better our record low overall water loss percentage of 16% as compared to the national average of 36%", said the Deputy Mayor.

The premier also slammed Mokonyane's department for being out of touch‚ saying the minister sent her a letter in December advising that the department was going to build a desalination plant at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town which would yield two megalitres of water a day.

There is no question that the current crisis has forced a change in water consumption patterns and one has become so used to the new regime that it is hard to imagine returning to the days when, frankly, we were very irresponsible in our use of the world's most precious resource.

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