South Africa 28.6.2018 12:57 pm

No Day Zero for Cape Town in 2019

 Vines that were once part of Zeekoekraal, a farm in Villiersdorp, Western Cape. The drought in the province is set to hamper the export-based wine industry. Picture: Supplied

Vines that were once part of Zeekoekraal, a farm in Villiersdorp, Western Cape. The drought in the province is set to hamper the export-based wine industry. Picture: Supplied

However, the city’s deputy mayor says this will be possible if appropriate water restrictions are maintained.

There will be “no Day Zero in 2019 if appropriate water restrictions are maintained”, Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson announced on Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference, Neilson said: “The levels of the dams supplying water to Cape Town have been rising consistently and significantly over the past six weeks. As at today, total dam storage capacity is at just over 43%, and we still have more than two months of expected winter rainfall ahead of us.”

Neilson said that more than the last few months, the collective water usage for Cape Town has been about 520 million litres a day. This compared to the situation at the end of winter last year when dam levels were at 38% and the consumption was more than 600 million litres a day.

Deputy Cape Town mayor Ian Neilson.

“We are now in a position to state that not only have we managed to avoid Day Zero this year, but we will also safely get through summer in 2019.”

He added: “While we hope at some point in the next few months to be in a position to relax the current restrictions, and the tariffs associated with them, this decision will have to wait until national government relaxes restrictions on releases from the water supply system.”

Neilson said he has requested a meeting with Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti to discuss this and also other matters pertaining to the City’s future water resilience as a matter of urgency.

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