New Delhi: South Africa’s Cape Town is the first city in the world which runs the risk of running out of water and is expected to witness its ‘Day Zero’ on July 9. For Cape Town’s water crisis, both natural and man-made reasons are responsible. While some of the natural reservoirs dried up over a period of three decades; drought from 2012 to 2017 and reckless use of water escalated the problem. Despite all this, the city is trying and is hoping to buy time and push the expected ‘Day Zero’, as it has managed to do so far. Earlier the expected deadline to go dry was April 16, but due to numerous restrictions imposed on the usage of water, city’s water consumption was cut by half and doomsday was pushed by ten weeks.
Here is what the city is doing to further delay the ‘Day Zero’ and avert the water crisis:
1. Implemented Level 6B Water Restrictions
Level 6B water restrictions came into effect from February 1, 2018 and has imposed around 14 conditions like daily limit of 50 litres or less per person whether at home, work, school or any where else. Usage of water for irrigation has been limited to a maximum of one hour that too only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 9AM and after 6PM. The citizens are also required to keep record of borehole/wellpoint water used by them and keep them available for inspection.
2. Follow It Or Pay For It
Under Level 6B water restrictions, the government has planned to fine individuals for not following the guidelines. As per the rules, residential units using excessive amounts of water will be fined or have water management devices installed at their properties. Use of municipal drinking water for irrigation, watering, washing of vehicles or hosing paved surfaces is deemed illegal. Fines are expected to range from R5000 to R10000 (Rs. 27241 – 54483).
3. ‘Save Like A Local’, Cape Town Urges Tourists To Conserve Water
Cape Town, a port city is urging tourists to conserve water just like a local. In the city, residents are now asked to use not more than 50 litres of water a day. Just like citizens, tourists are also expected to curtail use of water for drinking, limit showers to 90 second, flush toilet at least once and wash few dishes or clothes.
4. Multiple Stakeholders Come Together To Save Their City
Various stakeholders have come together and initiated numerous steps to cut down the consumption of water. For instance, hotels have installed low-flow showerheads, turned off fountains and replaced cloth napkins with paper ones. Along with this, sheets and towels are being changed less regularly and signs boards are put to urge visitors to flush toilets less frequently. Airport authorities have turned off all the sink taps, except one. Because of which visitors have to wait in line to wash their hands, that too under the vigilance of an attendant.
5. Water Crisis Leads To Innovation
While different organisations are restricting the consumption of water by adopting various methods, ordinary Capetonians have come up with several innovations to conserve water and in turn dealy day zero. For instance, a group of University of Cape Town (UCT) students have made it easier to collect water from a shower. They have developed an in-shower device having four interlocking flat containers that sit at the bottom of the shower and collects 40 litres of water.
Another innovation includes Mistifi, nozzle that is capable of saving humongous amount of water. Tap equipped with Mistifi dispenses 1 litre of water as opposed to regular tap that gives out 9 liter of water per minute.