On July 17th, Cape Town’s dam levels were at just over 26% which is approximately 17% down on levels during the same week in 2016. This is not the true picture, however, as the final 10% cannot really be used for drinking water, so Cape Town effectively only has 16% usable drinking water left.

While Capetonians have been going out of their way to conserve water over the past year and especially since the beginning of this year, it is not enough. The city’s historically wet winters have become increasingly less wet over the past decade, and with the Western Cape government’s Disaster Management Directorate estimating that rainfall will decrease by 30% by the year 2050, the populace wants answers as to what the government’s plans are.

The City is under level 4b restrictions which limits water usage to 87 litres per person per day, and bans the use of hosepipes, and the filling of swimming pools as well as other restrictions. According to the City, 65% of its water goes to formal residential customers, and around 50% of this is used for non-essential purposes such as watering gardens, washing cars, refilling pools etc.

Locals say that most of them are doing their best to conserve water but that the City is not fixing leaks quickly enough and that industrial and other uses wastes more water; government says that industrial customers only use 4% of municipal water, and that they recently employed an additional 75 people to handle water complaints; identify problems, find leaks and make sure leaks are repaired.

Current daily consumption is around 613 million litres, which is a marked improvement on what it has been over the past few years, but the City wants daily water consumption to drop to 500 million litres.

A Water Resilience Task Team, led by Craig Kesson, has also been established to co-ordinate the City’s response to the crisis, but residents are querying whether this is enough.

Buy bottled water coolers and buy plumbed water coolers from Water Cooler Purchase.