Cape Town Pushes Back ‘Day Zero’ … Again

Feb 20, 2018

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Cape Town authorities announced today that they’re pushing back, yet again, the estimated day the South African city’s water taps will run dry. In an apparent sign that water-saving efforts are working, Day Zero has been pushed back 35 days, from June 4 to July 9.

South Africa has declared its three-year drought a national disaster, and authorities are requiring that Cape Town residents use less than 50 liters of water per day. Those restrictions seem to be working. Water consumption in South Africa’s most populous city has dropped to an average of 523 million liters per day. That’s a significant decrease compared to water usage two years ago, which was more than one billion liters per day.

A successful transfer of water from other parts of South Africa to Cape Town’s dam systems also helped push back Day Zero, according to Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson. Neilson’s goal for the city is to conserve an additional 73 million liters per day for an overall water usage of 450 million liters per day. He warned that if Cape Town can’t reach this goal usage, Day Zero could be moved back to its earlier June 4 date.

TPG reader and Lounge member, Amadi S., recently commented on her experience visiting Cape Town: “I’ve been in Cape Town for 2 days, and so far the city has not descended into Mad Max chaos,” she said. Amadi added that her Airbnb host supplied her with 1.5L of water and that the soap in the bathroom — in her Airbnb as well as at businesses around the city — was replaced with hand sanitizer.

“At one place they even removed the faucets (see pics). Other than trying to flush less and use more hand sanitizer, it’s pretty much a normal vacation here,” Amadi added.

Image courtesy of Amadi S from TPG Lounge.

Officials are also recommending that people reuse bathing water for their toilets and limit showers to two minutes.

Cape Town originally set April 21 as the date that water taps would be shut off. It was then moved forward to April 12, then back to May 11 and then to June 4. Now, with July 9 set as Day Zero, officials are still urging Capetonians to not ease up on water-saving efforts.

H/T: Business Insider

Featured image by Morgana Wingard via Getty Images. 

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