April 22 is Cape Town's new 'day zero'

Cape Town’s new “day zero” is April 22‚ just 103 days away‚ says mayor Patricia de Lille.

This is when nearly all taps in the city will run dry‚ De Lille said on Tuesday at a briefing about dam levels and water use.

She said the amount of extra water available from aquifers was greater than expected‚ at 150 million litres a day‚ but this was insufficient to see the city through the summer.

Independent public policy expert Rolfe Eberhard said on Tuesday that the volume of water from these sources would be insufficient to prevent day zero‚ and called for a further reduction in consumption.

He said the limit for personal consumption should be reduced 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.

This is a developing story.

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