Cape Town could become first major city in world to run out of water after 90-day warning
Cape Town may become the first large city in the world to run out of water, as officials warn there are fewer than 90 days left before the supply runs dry.
The city’s mayor Patricia De Lille said residents had until 22 April until “day zero”, when authorities have estimated the water supply will be finished if residents do not scale back their usage.
officials have introduced strict measures limiting the consumption of available water, including capping usage at 87 litres per person per day.
The crisis is the result of three years of low rainfall and drought, coupled with a growing population and an increase in water consumption.
Storage levels in dams serving the coastal South African city dropped to below 30 per cent, but once the dams reach 13.5 per cent capacity the municipal water supply will be turned off for all but essential services, such as supplies to hospitals.
If the taps are turned off, residents will be required to travel to one of the 200 municipal water points across the city to collect a maximum ration of 25 litres per day.
Cape Town authorities are trying to top up water levels in the city’s surrounding dams using techniques such as drilling into aquifers, recycling wastewater and the desalination of seawater.