Mar 15, 2018

Cape Town May Avert Day Zero

The date has been pushed back to Aug. 27, during what is ordinarily South Africa’s rainy season

Cape Town delays Day Zero

The city of Cape Town has delayed the date of Day Zero—the day the city runs out of water—until Aug. 27. Because this date falls amid what is ordinarily the rainy season in South Africa, the city’s Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said it is possible the city can avoid the crisis altogether. However, he stressed the need to continue water saving efforts to avert the water crisis long-term. 

“Thus, provided we continue our current water savings efforts, Day Zero can be avoided completely this year. It is now up to all of us,” Neilson said in a statement. “If we keep on saving, we will not have to queue for water this year.” 

The combined water level of Cape Town’s dams measured at 23.6% last week, a number that could continue to decrease if Capetonians relax their water conservation efforts and if rain is delayed further. Deputy Mayor Neilson urged Cape Town residents to bring water consumption down to the mandated 450 MLD and 50 liters of water per person per day, in order to ultimately beat Day Zero for this year and future years.

According to The New York Times, while many residents strive to meet the water restrictions, most residents have not met the 50 liter water restrictions. As a popular tourist destination, Cape Town features luxury homes and resorts with pools and gardens. Regardless, the city’s mayor is optimistic that Capetonians can rise to the challenge and avert Day Zero. Many residents recycle greywater to flush toilets, clean their home or water their garden. Some residents have even used empty pools for rainwater harvesting purposes.