As Day Zero fears ease, bottled water sales are decreasing in Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa, has seen a drop in bottled water sales as Day Zero–the day the city runs out of water–has been averted and residents become more water self-sufficient. In January 2018, bottled water sales were up by 118%, according to local news source News24. Many residents stockpiled water reserves as Day Zero loomed, but now as dam levels rise the fear is easing.
As of June 2018, Western Cape dam levels were 32.1%, compared to 20.9% in 2017. The increase is attributed to a combination of water savings efforts and spring rains. To meet the water restrictions, many residents have installed rainwater harvesting tanks or sunk boreholes, easing the demand for bottled water.
Residents also have decreased bottled water stockpiling over a new fear–plastic particles. A recent study by the State University of New York investigated plastic particles in bottled water and the World Health Organization recently launched an investigation on microplastics in bottled water. The City of Cape Town has urged residents to adhere to the expiration date on plastic bottled water.