Drought crisis: local disaster declared

Drought crisis: local disaster declared

As of 6 March 2017, dam levels for the Cape Town City dropped to 31.5%, which is 1.6% down from the week before.

With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at about 21.5%. Consumption has broken through the 800 million litre barrier for the first time to 783 million litres of collective use per day, but we have still not achieved the new collective usage target of 700 million litres a day.

At the current draw-down rate of the dams there is about 113 days of useable water left. To ensure that the City of Cape Town is prepared for all eventualities, the City’s executive mayor Patricia de Lille has declared a local disaster in terms of Section 55 of the Disaster Management Act.

On Friday 3 March 2017, a local disaster was duly declared and promulgated in the Provincial Gazette. This declaration is valid for a period of three months but can be extended on a month-to-month basis by notice in the Gazette. A council decision is not required.

The City may now invoke emergency procurement procedures if required to expedite the emergency and accelerated water resource schemes.

“This declaration is not an excuse for our residents not to carry on reducing consumption. There are so many great water ambassadors. Without you, we would have been in more serious trouble. We thank the many residents and businesses who are working with us to save water.

“The City is continuing its monitoring and engaging with the top 20 000 consumers across residential, business, industrial and government properties to ensure that they bring their consumption down.

“Those who have not played an active saving role must do so immediately by ensuring that their homes are water-efficient, that they fix their leaks – both above ground and underground – and that they continue to implement no- to low-cost water-saving techniques,” says the City’s mayoral committee member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

For queries, residents can contact the City via email to: water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za or to report contraventions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts) or they can send an SMS to 31373.

This should reinforce the opportunities for plumbers to think long term and sell long term solutions to customers. Although rain is predicted in Cape Town next week and we all hope this will turn out to be true, how about plumbers getting to their customers and talking WATER SAVING, RAINWATER HARVESTING and WATER RE-USE?

The truth is that droughts are not going away because we are a semi-arid country and continent and the message is SAVE WATER.

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