Cape Town’s drought woes just keep going from bad to worse, with mayor Patrica De Lille announcing that the city has lost R1.6bn in reduced water consumption.

The loss is due in part to some residents not observing water restrictions, but also thanks to some citizens diligently observing them.

De Lille says the loss in water tariffs makes the need to introduce a drought charge on water bills in Cape Town all the more urgent.

The possibility of a drought charge was floated back in December of last year and the deadline for public consultation on it has been extended to January 15th of this year. If it’s put in place, it would affect 460 216 households, with some paying as much as R150 extra on their water bill.

The drought charge, however, needs to be signed off on by finance minister Malusi Gigaba before it can be implemented.

Cape Town’s dam levels currently stand at 29% and given the lack of rain forecast, there seems to be little respite in the city’s future.

De Lille says that more stringent methods are to be put in place to make sure  level 6 drought restrictions are adhered to.

“We will now also be fitting a water meter device to residents’ homes who are using more than 10,500 litres of water per month,” EWN reported De Lille as saying.

The City Of Cape Town is trying to reduce water consumption to under 500 million litres a day, but it currently stands at 587 million.

News24 has reported that at present Cape Town is on course to reach a “Day Zero” scenario by April of this year. Day Zero would essentially be the day that the city’s taps run dry and residents would be forced to queue at water filling stations under armed supervision by the authorities.

[Sources: EWN, News24]