Day Zero in Cape Town pushed back to April 16

IN DEEP WATER People queue to fill up water bottles at Muizenberg spring in Cape Town. Image Esa Alexander

IN DEEP WATER People queue to fill up water bottles at Muizenberg spring in Cape Town. Image Esa Alexander

South Africa's drought-stricken tourist metropolis of Cape Town has reduced its daily water consumption by 60 million litres a day, pushing back the day it is predicted to run out of water.

Once the dams drop below 13.5% capacity taps in South Africa will be turned off.

"We have managed to push back day zero by cutting consumption to an average of 580-million litres a day for the past week to 540-million litres a day for the past few days‚" he said.

Western Cape province includes Cape Town, where municipal authorities say they will have to close most taps on what they call "Day Zero", slated for April 12, if residents don't save enough water.

Although officials still encourage tourism, the city is hoping to spread the word about the water crisis to encourage travellers to be responsible.

The chairperson of Parliament's select committee on social services has cautioned against pointing fingers and turning the ongoing water crisis in the Western Cape into a political point scoring match.

Residents are now allotted 23 gallons of water per person each day as the city tries to find alternatives.

From early February, Cape Town will receive an additional 67 million litres of water per day from the private Palmiet Kogelberg Dam near Cape Town, Maimane said.

Some diplomats who met with Cape Town officials referred to water shortages happening in their own countries, such as Barcelona (Spain) and California (U.S).

According to experts, the causes of the water shortages in Cape Town are due to climate change and the population growth since the 90s.

Global tourists make up only 1 percent of Cape Town's population during peak season, but they support more than 300,000 jobs, according to the Wesgro agency.

Many tourists have canceled reservations because of the situation in the city.

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