Cape Town says water restrictions working but situation still critical.A drought-hit Cape Town has postponed its so-called "Day Zero", when the city runs out of water, until 2019. The doomsday scenario had originally been expected in April 2018 but was pushed forward to June, then July, before being postponed to an unannounced date in 2019.
Residents continue to endure water restrictions of 50 litres of water per person per day, enforced by officers from the city's sanitation department, with those caught violating the rules facing stiff penalties and reduced water supply. Cape Town authorities say that although the restrictions and recycling of waste water is paying off, the crisis is far from over.
The city says its average collective water consumption is currently 516 million litres per day, roughly half the daily amount it consumed three years ago. However the current figure remains 66 million litres above the required usage target of 450 million litres.
The city continues to establish alternative water sources by drilling for water and constructing seawater desalination plants. The three-year drought has also affected the city's tourism sector, with hotels reporting a fall off of up to 15 per cent on bookings in February compared with the same period in 2017. Despite recent rainfall, the combined storage levels of the dams serving the city is just over 21 per cent capacity. The dams' water levels, which remain critical, are updated daily on the Cape Town website.