93 days until Cape Town runs out of water - TechCentral

93 days until Cape Town runs out of water

Authorities in drought-stricken Cape Town have told residents that it is “now likely” that water supplies will be cut because of dwindling levels in dams serving the country’s second largest metropolis.

Cape Town will impose tighter water restrictions starting on 1 February, limiting each resident to 50l a day, compared to 85l now, it said in a statement Thursday. Authorities said earlier this week that they currently estimate “Day Zero”, the date when the city estimates it will have to cut off supplies to consumers, to be 21 April.

The city has “reached a point of no return”, with about 60% of residents failing to meet existing curbs on water use, it said. The new limit will be in place for 150 days and then reviewed. Major dams in the Western Cape province that supply the city have dropped to 28.7% of capacity compared to 43% a year ago and 93% in 2014, figures on the city’s website show.

“It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero,” the city’s media office said in a statement. Many of the city’s four million residents are “callously” using too much water, it said.

Consumption was 618m liters a day last week, compared to the target of 500m set by authorities. January, February and March are typically among the driest of the year in the city, which usually gets its heaviest rainfall in June, July and August.

Cape Town’s CBD will be excluded from the “Day Zero” measures to reduce harm to the local economy, as will areas of informal housing that lack standard city services. City lawmakers will vote Friday on plans to impose increased charges for water of as much as seven times for the heaviest users. — Reported by John Viljoen, with assistance from Robert Brand, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP


  1. Here is the truth. In as early as 2000 it was said this day would come.
    There have been repeated warnings since then.
    All these warnings have been written off as, and I quote ” fear mungering”.

    There have been many offers to build desalination plants for the city of Cape Town, all rejected.

    Racism, ideology, and religious discrimination all take precedence over solving the problem.
    Examples of this, the Israeli government offered to build a desalination plant at no cost to the city or South Africa.
    This was rejected because they are not Muslim and black and actively support the ANC.
    The German government made a similar offer, rejected as well, reason, they are not black and don’t support the ANC.

    I was told a while back that South Africa is a one party dictatorship.
    Initially I dismissed that, but looking at what is repeatedly happening, I am beginning to believe the foreign analist is right.

    A sad day for South Africa and Cape Town.
    The people can change the situation, but are they going to?

  2. Why cant we boil seawater through fresnel lenses heating copper pipes resulting in steam which can supply some of the power to pump the seawater and with the cooled condensed steam harvested as pure water?
    Corrie de Jager

  3. Interesting story. I was always wandering what happened to a Cape Town municipal project, proposed around 2011, to connect a Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant to the Koeberg Nuclear plant’s cooling water (CW) outlet. The outlet provide 80m3/s (2 units) and its temperature is normally around 23DegrCel which is apparently the “sweet spot” temperature for a RO plant. Therefore part of this CW could have been used for desalination. You don’t just connect such a plant to a nuclear plant but I believe that if one would have actively perused this idea we might have been in a position to have started operating such a plant around this time. At least some officials in the WC had foresight. What happen to them?