Cape Town dam levels have declined by another 1% over the past week and are now standing at 24.1%, leaving only about 14.1% of usable water, but there is hope as the City of Cape Town said water consumption over the past week was less than the collective usage target for the first time since the water restrictions were implemented.
Yet the City continued to issue its stern warning for residents to continue to save water.
As previously reported, the City has been aiming for a collective usage target of 700 million litres per day, and a statement by the City of Cape Town media office on Tuesday said that, over the past week, the consumption was 685 million litres per day.
The City said this drop in the collective water consumption was “incredibly encouraging to see”.
Last week, The Citizen reported that the City’s mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water, waste services and energy councillor Xanthea Limberg said the best way to manage a drought was by increasing efforts to reduce water use; and that’s what the City did.
Limberg had said the City had begun to control the supply from the Faure Reservoir by reducing pressure at the reservoir so less water would flow and lowered the pressure to Cape Town’s central and southern suburbs. Limberg said that it was estimated about 25 million litres of water per day would be saved.
Level 3B water restrictions have also been implemented in Cape Town since February 1.
In this week’s statement, the City said it continued to accelerate its emergency water schemes. This was in accordance with the disaster declaration. The extensive pressure reduction programmes would continue in a bid to reduce the flow of water at a time. It also aimed to reduce water losses through pipework leaks.
Limberg has cautioned residents that with the “bit of rain” in the city recently, they ran “the very real risk” that consumers would now use more water.
“We cannot emphasise strongly enough how critical it is that we do not relax our water-saving efforts over the next year at least. One winter of average rainfall will not get us out of this predicament. In addition, hot weather is expected again this week and this will have an impact on water use. We really cannot afford for consumption to increase at this stage,” she said.
“To give our residents an idea of the seriousness of the situation, we will be lowering the consumption target to 600 million litres soon.”
The statement further read that Cape Town was situated in a water-scarce region and warned the situation would be exacerbated by climate change.