Stricken by the worst drought in a century, Cape Town may run out of water by 12th April

In Cape Town, South Africa, people carry water collected from a natural spring. Image credit: Anwa Essop/Associated Press

As Cape Town, provincial capital of the Western Cape Province, a popular tourist destination in South Africa, continues to suffer in the grip of the worst drought in a century, it has now found that its water supply has dwindled 1.4 per cent more, spurring authorities to move “Day Zero” – an estimate of when city residents may find piped water running through their taps lost – from the 21st of April to the 12th of April, a full nine days.

According to the Guardian, the city has already told residents that if steps to drastically reduce water consumption are not realised by “Day Zero”, locals will have to begin queuing at 200 standpipes for their daily 25-litre water ration. Already, the city prosecutes homeowners who go over the current daily limit of 50 litres.

Helen Zille, the premier of the Western Cape Province has written to President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, calling for the drought to be declared a national disaster, asserting that the drought is no longer a threat, but an imminent crisis. Other provinces would have to supply Western Cape with water.

“Due to a drop in the dam levels of 1.4 per cent, Day Zero has moved forward to the 12th of April,” Ian Neilson, the deputy mayor of Cape Town, said in a released statement. “It is still possible to push back Day Zero if we all stand together now and change our current path.”

According to ABC News, after three consecutive years of drought, the dams of the city, recharged by rainfall, had levels hovering at just above 27 per cent.


Sources: ABC News, The Guardian