The mayor tells tourists that the popular South African city faces a disastrous scenario.
The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, is warning visitors that it is “very likely” the South African city will run out of water in April.
The popular destination may even run dry earlier than that, as residents as well as tourists ignore the city’s attempts to cut water use.
Two years of drought, due to rainfall occurring at around a third of normal levels, mean that the reservoirs supplying Cape Town are running dangerously low.
Day Zero – the day when almost all of the taps in the city will be turned off and residents will have to queue for water – was previously set at April 21, but this since now been moved to April 12.
Water pressure has already been reduced to limit consumption, but leaks and cuts in the supply are becoming more common, TravelMole reports.
A British visitor to Cape Town, Alistair Coy, tweeted images of one of the reservoirs, calling the crisis an “impending disaster in one of the world’s greatest cities”. He thinks Day Zero will arrive in March.
“Four million citizens will be expected to collect 25 litres per person from one of 200 collection points,” he said. “A true nightmare scenario is developing before our very eyes.”
A huge banner near the airport tells arriving passengers to shower for just two minutes, while some hotels, bars and restaurants have turned off the water in the public toilets, providing hand sanitizer instead.
“There will be water for tourists’ essential daily needs including access to drinking water and for personal hygiene,” South African Tourism assures. “At present, tourists will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene. Some swimming pools at hotels have been converted to salt (ocean) water.”
According to reports, four desalination plants are under construction in and around Cape Town, but three are behind schedule and none will be ready by April.