Jan 17, 2018

Cape Town Water Crisis Moves Closer to Day Zero

Day Zero has been moved forward to April 22, 2018

Cape Town has moved Day Zero forward one week in the midst of water crisis

Following three years of aggressive drought, Cape Town officials have again moved forward Day Zero to April 22, 2018, the day when the city’s water supply is expected to run out. When dams reach a 13.5% capacity, the city will shut down municipal water supply.

Several efforts are being made to prolong the arrival of such a day as citizens hope for aid from alternative water sources and desalination plants. However, these projects are currently running behind schedule. Because of the expensive nature of these projects, Mayor Patricia De Lille has proposed a drought levy be sanctioned on the citizens in order to pay for the various relief efforts.

Because of the drastic reduction in water consumption in the face of the unprecedented drought, water is not nearly as conducive to revenue as it once was, leaving a dearth of money to fund the projects necessary to maintain the water supply.

The current state of affairs likely results from a confluence of the drought and a failure to make necessary changes to Cape Town water infrastructure in unison with the massive population boom in the city over the past 20 years, which has seen the population nearly double.

The levy has yet to be passed, and will need to be approved by Cape Town’s City Council to be put in effect. It would be paid over four years if passed, taxing property owners with property valued over $33,000 and business property valued over $4,100.

The change in Day Zero from April 29 to April 22 came as a result of a significant uptick in water usage by the citizens of Cape Town, who have largely failed to achieve the targeted limits of water consumption.