Welcome to The New Normal. Drought crisis takes a new turn in Cape Town

By Aron Hyman

The City of Cape Town is installing 2‚000 water management devices a week at properties owned by water guzzlers to restrict household consumption to 350 litres per day.

Cape Town residents are being urged to use only 87 litres per day‚ per person‚ after a record low rainfall winter season left dams at 37.5% full‚ with only 27.5% of that being usable water. Picture GALLO IMAGES

The devices will be installed at properties where residents refuse to limit water use. The city‚ reeling from an extensive drought‚ is aiming to reduce total consumption to 500 million litres per day.

Collective consumption currently stands at 622 million litres per day. In February the City was still using more than 800 million litres per day.

Residents are being urged to use only 87 litres per day‚ per person‚ after a record low rainfall winter season left dams at 37.5% full‚ with only 27.5% of that being usable water.

A warm bath‚ now a highly discouraged act of water wastage in the city‚ may be a difficult concept to explain to future generations.

“All residents‚ businesses and other partners must start adapting to the ‘New Normal’ which is a characteristic of a water-scarce city and province such as Cape Town and the Western Cape‚” said Xanthea Limberg‚ the mayoral committee member for water and waste services.

“We will continue to approach this drought crisis with every resource and avenue at our disposal. We need the whole of society to stand with us and to help us to get through this drought‚ but also to start laying the building blocks for a more resilient city over our longer-term future.”

The daily water target does not just apply when you are at home‚ said Limberg‚ but also when you are at work or gym.

The City has also put pressure on businesses to reduce consumption.

Water pressure has also been reduced‚ which could affect high-lying areas. Multi-storey buildings without water pump systems or water tanks could see water shortages on upper floors.

-TimesLIVE

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