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Cape Town water supplies will last until August – city official

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has enough water to last until August or September at current consumption levels, an official has said.

Any rainfall in the coming weeks would change this projection, but there was “significant uncertainty” over the rain forecast for June and July, mayoral committee member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg said in written replies sent to News24 on Wednesday.

Rainfall during April and May had been disappointing.

“As such, saving as much water as possible remains key in case our water reserves have to be stretched over summer 2017/18,” she said.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille announced on Monday that she had declared the entire province a disaster zone in a bid to avoid taps running dry. Economic Opportunities and Agriculture MEC Alan Winde said the decision was taken because winter rainfall had been below expectation.

“We are being told that we should’ve had a lot more rain in this season already,” he said.

Leak checks

In February, the city released a list of the top 100 water consumers. Limberg said they were reconsidering releasing an updated list.

“The high consumption of many of the top 100 was due to invisible leaks rather than wilful wastage and, therefore, releasing the names of the streets in which they reside in an effort to facilitate community self-regulation, did not have the intended effect,” she said.

Limberg asked residents to do regular leak checks to avoid high consumption. They could do so by checking their water meter, turning off all the taps, waiting an hour, and taking the meter’s reading again.

Most water wastage happened behind closed doors.

“We are therefore calling on residents to spread the message to conserve water to their friends, colleagues and family, and to call out waste when they see it,” she said. DM

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