Day Zero has been delayed until 7 July 2018, according to the latest data made available on the Day Zero Dashboard on www.capetown.gov.za. According to Cathy Pineo from GreenCape, water usage in Cape Town was recently down to a record level of 505 million litres per day (MLD). Dam levels have dropped by only 0.5% in the past few weeks and agricultural usage is down to only 10%.
“We are close to moving out of the “critical zone” in the dam drawdown model and we can expect Day Zero to continue being delayed if the current usage levels continue,” says Pineo. “The possibility of Day Zero happening has dropped significantly and focus has started to move towards planning for next year. However, preparations continue for Day Zero.”
If Day Zero does come, it has not “yet been confirmed which parts of the city will remain online as the city needs to get approval from senior counsel for this approach. They will be trying to supply all significant commercial and industrial nodes for at least the initial period of Day Zero. This is primarily to ensure that jobs are protected,” says Pineo.
“Critical infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals will also be supplied with water, either through the reticulation system or from own sources. This does not apply to independent schools.”
She also reminds that “Day Zero isn’t a day, but actually three months of highly reduced water usage, around 350 MLD.”
“Current tariffs are linked to the restriction levels; so, when restrictions fall, so will the tariffs. However, it is not expected that the restriction levels will fall until the dams have made a strong recovery. Therefore, unless we get the best rain ever this winter, restrictions may continue at this level into the next summer and beyond,” Pineo concludes.
GreenCape is hosting many sector-specific water events in the next few months. Click here to see more information on these events. –Ursula Human, AgriOrbit