‘Day Zero’ when water runs out delayed, as city tries to salvage remains
iStock/Thinkstock(CAPE TOWN) — As the South African city of Cape Town battles dwindling water supplies amid a three year-long drought, city officials have moved back their prediction for “Day Zero,” when the city expects it will run out of water.
Originally scheduled for April 21, the date had been pushed up to April 12. But, on Monday, the city announced it now expects “day zero” to be April 16, if necessary measures aren’t taken to salvage water.
“This week our dashboard shows a slight outward movement of Day Zero,” the city said Monday, “mainly due to a reduction in agricultural releases from the dams over the previous week.”
In an effort to maintain water in the city and avoid Day Zero, the government said it is taking extensive measures, known as Level 6B water restrictions. New water tariffs will also go into effect starting Thursday.
Some of the restrictions include limiting each person’s water use to a maximum of 13.2 gallons, regardless of location — home, work or school. The city will also restrict borehole use for irrigation to Tuesdays and Saturdays for one hour before 9:00am and after 6:00pm.
The South African Weather Service shows no rain predicted in the coming days, except a slight chance on Friday.
The premier of South Africa’s Western Cape province, Helen Zille, wrote to South Africa President Jacob Zuma calling for the declaration of a national disaster, saying the drought has escalated from a threat to an imminent crisis.
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