Saturday, 16 Feb 2019

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Cape Town now faces dry taps by May 11

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Health Desk: 09 February 2018: Residents of drought-stricken Cape Town received rare good news Monday when city officials said they now face losing piped water to their homes on May 11 - a month later than previously forecast.

But Capetonians are not yet out of the woods. If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by so-called "Day Zero", people will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 liters (6.6 US gallons).

The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has enforced strict waste controls including prosecution of homeowners who use more than the current 50-liter daily limit.

"The day we may have to start queueing for water is expected to move out to mid-May 2018 due to a decline in agricultural usage," deputy mayor Ian Neilson said in a statement.

"Capetonians must continue reducing consumption if we are to avoid 'Day Zero'. There has not been any significant decline in urban usage. All Capetonians must, therefore, continue to use no more than 50 liters."

Every day the city uses more than 450 million liters, so-called "Day Zero" - the last day of normal water supply - becomes more likely. In the past week, city-wide consumption stood at an average of 547 million liters daily.

The previous forecast for "Day Zero" was April 16.