Deputy Mayor Neilson: ‘Team Cape Town’ now among world’s top water saving cities

city of cape town water collection points day zero

From practically flaming residents last year to praising them this: the City of Cape Town has gone through the entire mood spectrum during the water crisis.

The City of Cape Town and its residents have achieved a new water usage milestone,” deputy mayor Ian Neilson notes in a release.

In addition to praising the City’s water conservation efforts, he also mentioned “Team Cape Town’s” newfound water conservation fame.

Our commendable water usage is increasingly recognised as a phenomenal achievement across the world. Thanks to this effort our dam levels are declining at a lower weekly rate.”

Just months ago we were, at times, labelled by international media and commentators as one of the first large cities in the world to possibly run out of water. However, this narrative is changing as the world sees what Team Cape Town has achieved thus far.

Not only have we fought back to avert an unprecedented crisis, we are also setting the benchmarks for water saving across the globe. We have more than halved our water usage in the past two years, and our usage per person is now among the lowest in the world for a metropolitan area.

And yes, “avert” a potential crisis.

Following DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s proclamation that Day Zero may be held back until 2019, Neilson confirmed this sentiment.

Although the potential for Day Zero has been moved to next year, the drought is still very real and the associated threat to water supply remains a reality.”

Cape Town’s ‘usage per person is now among the lowest in the world for a metropolitan area’

The notion that Day Zero itself was a false construct was also rubbished by the City in the post, in a “water myth busting” section.

The potential for a Day Zero is and never was a myth,” it states.

“We conservatively projected it based on the actual rate of fall in dam levels. As irrigation and urban usage has reduced, so too has the rate of fall reduced and our Day Zero projection moved out. This was communicated transparently and honestly. The data on which these projections were made is independently available from the national Department of Water and Sanitation and is published in local newspapers.

“The City would never jeopardise this city and its residents, businesses and economy unnecessarily by faking a Day Zero projection just as a scare tactic.”

Cape Town dams: #DayZero or not, the city remains worryingly dry

Despite what politicians may say about Cape Town’s water crisis and the potential aversion of Day Zero, there’s no denying that the dam levels remain low. Read more…

Neilson also mentioned the low water consumption figures recently recorded by the City. Although 511-million litres per day was quoted, the City saw a record low of 506-million litres per day used on 9 March 2018. However, even this seemingly isn’t enough.

Both the City of Cape Town and the national government intends to bring consumption down to 450-million litres per day — around 10% less than the city’s current consumption.

As a City we are still required by the National Government to reduce water usage to 450 million litres per day. Judging from the mind-blowing achievements of our water users thus far, I am confident that we can get our water usage down further,” Neilson added.

Let’s keep saving, Team Cape Town,” he concluded.

Feature image: City of Cape Town

Andy Walker, former editor


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