Cape Town will not reach Day Zero, the date the city cuts the supply of water to locals and visitors to emergency rations, at least until 2019.
Cape Town will not reach Day Zero, the date the city drastically cuts the supply of water to locals and visitors to emergency rations, at least until 2019.
Officials in the South African city say that a joint effort by residents, businesses, farmers and tourists to slow water usage and conserve it during the continuing water shortage have ensured consumption has been “drastically reduced” by 57% in three years.
Heavily publicised water-saving initiatives such as taking 90-second showers had already pushed back the forecasted date of Day Zero from mid-April to late August.
Now the worst-case scenario, which among other things assumes no rainfall at all, is that reservoir water levels will fall below 13.5% only towards the end of August. The Cape usually sees winter rainfall between May and August.
When that and the “record low levels of consumption” are factored in, officials say that “it is now clear that the taps will stay open this year”.
Positive for tourism
Tolene van der Merwe, South African Tourism’s chief for the UK and Ireland, tells TTG this is “very positive news”.
“During this challenging time, the tourism industry and locals have worked collectively to swiftly implement numerous measures to reduce water consumption and preserve stocks whilst continuing to welcome visitors and provide a great experience,” she says.
“Although this is very positive news for the destination, we cannot be complacent. We must continue to be sensitive to the changing environment and modify our attitudes to water consumption to ensure we manage and preserve this invaluable resource for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming more visitors over the coming months to see what our amazing country has to offer.”