Day Zero has now moved to 9 July due to a weekly drop in dam levels of only 0.5% (as compared to a 1.9% drop in 2014).
The City of Cape Town in a statement said that this week’s lower rate of consumption can be attributed to the Groenland water reaching Steenbras Upper Dam last week and slightly increasing the dam level, as well as to a further reduction in Cape Town’s weekly average demand to 523 megalitres per day (MLD) compared to 1 130 MLD in 2014.
The Groenland water transfer and the reduction in the weekly average demand has had a dramatic impact on the Day Zero date, which is determined by assuming that the fortnightly trend of weekly dam storage change will continue unchanged. This precautionary outlook assumes no further rainfall and that water demand may not reduce over the next few months. It has been adopted to allow sufficient lead time for implementation of temporary water collection points in the event that these may be required.
The City said that it anticipates that Day Zero could move back into June again once the Groenland transfer has been completed, unless it is able to meet the 450 MLD collective water usage target. “Therefore it is imperative that we reach this target to make it through to the winter rains.”
Residents of Cape Town have been urged not to ease up on their water-saving efforts. “We cannot afford to slow down when the estimated Day Zero date moves out, simply because we cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come or when it will come. Last year we had abnormally low winter rainfall, and we cannot assume that this year will be any different,” the statement read.
‘Prepartions for Day Zero continue as planned, along with the City’s aggressive roll-out of pressure management initiatives and the installation of water management devices at the properties of high users across the metro. Enforcement blitzes will also continue to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions.