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'Day Zero': Cape Town pushes back date for looming water crisis

'Day Zero': Cape Town pushes back date for looming water crisis

South Africa

South Africa’s drought-stricken city of Cape Town has pushed back its estimate for “Day Zero,” when residents will have to start queuing for water, to May 11 from April 16, authorities said on Monday, citing a decline in agricultural water usage.

“Capetonians must continue reducing consumption if we are to avoid Day Zero,” Cape Town’s executive deputy major, Alderman Ian Neilson, was quoted as saying.

Neilson added: “All Capetonians must therefore continue to use no more than 50 litres per person per day to help stretch our dwindling supplies.”

Levels of usable water in the dams surrounding Cape Town have been dropping by 1.4 per cent a day, and currently stand at around 17.2 per cent.

When they hit 13.5 per cent – estimated for April 12 – the pipeline will be shut down and the city’s four million residents will have to queue up each day for their supply from one of 200 water collection points.

The water crisis poses a risk to a vibrant tourist industry that sees almost 2 million visitors flock to Cape Town every year. The Cape Town region generally receives most of its rainfall from May to August.

REUTERS

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