Recently, we reported that Cape Town was in danger of fully running out of water on April 22. The New York Times reports that thanks to water rationing methods, the day the city will run out of water, which is being called "Day Zero," has been pushed back to July 9.
The South African city's mayor, Patricia de Lille, established an initiative requiring households to only use 23 gallons of water per person a day. Although the initiative initially seemed unsuccessful, with only about 54 percent of the city's citizens participating, residents have worked hard in recent weeks to drop daily water consumption to 523 million liters per day (about 139 million gallons). That works out to about 36 gallons per person, per day.
Further helping matters is the Groenland farmers association. Reuters reports that the group has donated water from its private reservoirs into the public Steenbras storage dam.
Still, Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson asked for caution, warning residents that the city is not out of the woods yet.
"We anticipate that Day Zero could move back into June again once the Groenland transfer has been completed, unless we are able to meet the 450 MLD (million liters per day) collective water usage target," said Neilson.
Officials hope that the extra water and continued rationing will help the city make it until winter, which will begin in June. The winter seasons usually brings rains, which would help ease the water shortage; however, experts aren't sure the winter rains will bring enough water to meet the demand.
Neilson stressed this point as well.
“I urge the residents of Cape Town not to ease up on their water-saving efforts,” Neilson said. “We cannot afford to slow down when the estimated Day Zero date moves out, simply because we cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come or when it will come.”