If residents in Cape Town don’t pull up their socks and start saving water, they may find themselves with at least 19 weeks of drinkable water left.

According to the City of Cape Town, dam levels have dropped to 36.2%, which is 1.2% down from a week ago and with the last 10% of a dam’s water not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 26.2%.

“The latest actual consumption is 825 million litres of collective use per day. The City of Cape Town has now lowered its water consumption target from 800 million litres to 700 million litres for collective water usage per day,” the city said.

If the city can reduce its usage, it’s looking at being left with 135 days of drinkable water, at the current draw-down rate on dams.

“In December 2016, the target of 800 million litres per day was set and this was subject to seasonal variations which, among others, affect the evaporation rate of dams. These variations have caused us to lower the target now. In addition, we have struggled to meet the previous target and we will therefore need a monumental effort to reduce consumption further and to meet a target that is one hundred million litres lower,’ said the city’s Mayor, Patricia de Lille.

According to the city’s January 2017 consumption figures, the highest water users are all using far above 50 000 litres of water per month while out of the almost one million customers that it supplies with water, most households are using an average of approximately 20 000 litres per month or less.

Last week, de Lille began personally calling these high water users, urging them to reduce their consumption.

“Regular enforcement operations remain in place in addition to the targeted engagements with these top 20 000 highest water users. Furthermore, the City continues its long-term water infrastructure investment programme, the roll-out of its leak and pressure management programmes, and investigation into alternative sources of water,” the city said.

[Image CC Public Domain]