Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille will reveal the revised estimate for “day zero” — the day the taps will run dry — on Tuesday.
Dam levels in the Western Cape as a whole fell to 29.7% this week‚ and De Lille is expected to reveal that daily water consumption in the City of Cape Town fell to 578 million litres in the past three weeks.
This is the lowest yet‚ but still will above the 500 million-litre target set by the council and the Department of Water and Sanitation.
On December 18 — the last time the city council water dashboard was updated — day zero was out at April 29. It is expected to have moved forward to around April 22.
De Lille will also give a progress report on four desalination plants‚ two groundwater abstraction projects and a water recycling project.
Independent public policy expert Rolfe Eberhard said on Tuesday that the volume of water from these sources would be insufficient to stave off day zero‚ and called for a further reduction in consumption.
He said the limit for personal consumption should be cut from 87 litres a day to 50 litres‚ and the city-wide target should be 450 million litres a day.
Writing in BusinessLive‚ Eberhard said: “This will be difficult‚ but it can and must be done through a combination of increasingly uncomfortable measures — punitive tariffs‚ flow restrictions and pressure management. Cape Town has no choice but to pursue all of these measures aggressively.
“Farmers‚ residents and businesses are all deeply unhappy with these restrictions‚ however‚ there is no alternative. Empty dams and the consequential human and economic catastrophe of unimaginable proportions must be avoided.”
Die Burger reported on Tuesday that 40‚000 comments have been received about the City of Cape Town’s proposal to implement a drought levy based on property values from February 1.