HomeNewsCape Town: WWF launches water guide series for residents

Cape Town: WWF launches water guide series for residents

With only 94 days left before the city reaches Day Zero, the City of Cape Town is urging all residents to conserve water.

The World Wide Fund’s (WWF) first of a series of Wednesday Water Files released this week, highlighted that most new water sources (groundwater, desalination and reclaimed water from waste water treatment plants) are about 50% complete and some are behind schedule.

“150 million litres (ML) per day of groundwater, 120 ML of desalinated water and 22 ML of reclaimed water are planned to come on line by the end of the year. This is not enough to meet Cape Town’s current demand of about 600 ML/day,” the WWF file said.


Day Zero

The WWF file stressed that should Day Zero come, the city will move into full-scale Emergency Stage 3.

“This means that water to households and businesses will be cut off. There will not be enough water in the system to maintain normal services and the taps (and toilets) will run dry. Only vital services such as clinics and hospitals stand-pipes in informal settlements and the 200 points of distribution (PoDs) where people can collect their allocated 25 litres per person, will still receive water.”

New restrictions announced

The City of Cape Town announced on Thursday that level 6B water restrictions will come into effect 1 February 2018.

This means that all residents are required to use 50 litres of water per person per household per day, cut from the current 87 litres.

Failure to do so could result in hefty penalties and the worst case scenario – Day Zero.

In a statement this week the City said: “During the past week only 39% of Cape Town’s residents used less than 87 litres of water per person per day – compared to 54% during the first week of January.” Read more…

What can I do today?

The file is going to highlight tips for you to follow every week to help reduce your water consumption.

This week’s list includes:

  • MONITOR how many litres you are using each day by reading your water meter. If you live in a block of flats, do this exercise and divide the total by the number of flats in the block. As a business, you should already be monitoring your water use to ensure you’ve cut back.
  • 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.
  • TALK to your neighbours, community groups, body corporate, colleagues, boss, school principal and governing body about plans for Day Zero and how we are going to look after each other to get through this together.

To find out additional information about what you will need to do should Day Zero approach, you can download the full Wednesday Water File here.


Featured image: Theewaterskloof, one of the Western Cape’s big 6 dams, shows the extent of the drought, the worst in the province in 100 years. © City of Cape Town

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.