South Africa: WWF’s Wednesday Water File – It’s Time to Prepare for Day Zero
For the last few months, Capetonians have been talking about Day Zero, the day when the city’s taps are expected to run dry but what does this really mean?
This day is calculated based on knowing how much water is in the big 6 dams that feed Cape Town and the Western Cape Water Supply System, and knowing how much water is being used by the city’s residents, by agriculture and what is evaporating out of the dam.
Substantial new water sources are not likely to come on line before April, so the only thing that can really push out Day Zero is if YOU and I use less water and save water NOW!
There will not be enough water in the system to maintain normal services and the taps (and toilets) will run dry.
All other mains water supplied by the city will be cut off.
Cape Town is lucky to have three different aquifers within its area and close to the major water supply network.
Come Day Zero we will have to use very small volumes of water in our households (whatever you can carry in a bucket or container from a point of distribution or from a shop, or transport in your car or in a wheelbarrow from a neighbour’s borehole) that there may not be enough to flush.
It’s likely that many businesses will not be able to stay open – either because they rely on large volumes of water for their core functions or because they are not able to offer safe water and sanitation to employees for their time at work.
You could buy 5-litre bottled water during your weekly shop and keep that safe as you prepare for Day Zero.
Check out your status on the Cape Town water users map: https://citymaps.capetown.gov.za/EGISViewer/ Make sure you have a minimum EMERGENCY SUPPLY of drinking water at home and re use clean bottles to store water.