Water levels in Cape Town’s dams remain low compared to previous years, despite the city’s efforts to save water.
Last week the government said levels in its reservoirs fell by 0.3% to 21.9%. By by comparison, levels in reservoirs in 2014 were at 75%, dropping to 58.7% in 2015. In 2016 levels dropped significantly to 32.2%, falling further in 2017 to 26.6%.
Last year the city on the south-western coast of South Africa, ran the “day zero” campaign, naming the date which it would run out of water if residents did not curb usage. In January this year, the date was set for 12 April 2018.
High temperatures and a lack of rain over the last three years have depleted its reservoirs and a drought was formally declared in May last year.
Water restrictions of 50l per person were imposed on residents to try to conserve its remaining supply.
Cape Town authorities have warned that despite day zero being pushed back to 2019, it said water levels were still lower than in previous years and restrictions would remain in place to ensure it could get through the year “safely”.
Cape Town executive deputy mayor Ian Neilson said the 0.3% drop in usage indicated a stabilisation of consumption at lower levels than was being achieved previously, but the city still needed to reduce its water consumption.
“Our collective consumption over the past week was 521M.l of water per day,” said . “This decline [in water usage], which is lower than in previous weeks, is a welcome confirmation of the impact of the continued efforts by Capetonians to save water, and includes a small contribution from rainfall.
“While this remains a considerable achievement, as a City we need to continue to work harder to reduce consumption even further.”