Did you know that Day Zero is less than three months away?
Did you know that it refers to leading a lifestyle with a lot less water, than most Capetonians are accustomed to for more than a day?
Did you know that as Capetonians, we have the answers?
The day limited if not no water will flow in households is set for now to be Thursday April 12. While like the vineyard surfacing on the floor bed of the dried up Theewaterskloof Dam, which flooded in 1975, when the government expropriated properties in the area to expand the dam, Capetonians are bearing the brunt of the worst drought.
As the water has dried up exposing the vines, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and premier Helen Zille has crawled out of the woodworks, in the hope to save the day.
Day Zero is to be Thursday April 12, this has moved ten days earlier, within a week of Mayor Patricia de Lille’s announcement of increased tariffs for residents who use more than 6 000L a month starting on Thursday February 1.
Similarly, the ANC led national government has been rather quiet in the provision of water, in its ownership and management of water sources, like the Theewaterskloof Dam.
We as citizens and politicians are bound by the constitution which affords every citizen the right of access to sufficient water, in 27(1)(b) of the Constitution, which states that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water.
Section 27(2) requires the State to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right.
Everyone agrees that it is a right but our usual water sources, like the dams have dried up. Picture long queues, impatience and chaos at the 200 water collection sites if Capetonians do not work together.
While the worry and preparations mount, reaching out a hand at to and for your neighbour could help smooth the edges of a difficult situation.
The World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature in their first weekly Wednesday Water File, encourages citizens to get to know their neighbours better and assist them, where possible.
“The only way we can delay Day Zero is by drastically reducing our water use now,” read the two page leaflet.
BLOB Store emergency reserves of drinking water in a cool dark place.
BLOB Talk to your neighbours, community groups, body corporates, colleagues, boss, school principal and governing body about plans for Day Zero and how we are going to look after each other to get through this together.
BLOB Fill toilet cistern with water rather than pour into toilet, use grey water for this. Use vinegar in the toilet and drains to help with any odours and bacteria.
By Monday January 22, dams had 244 555 megalitres of water (27.2%), down more than 1% from a week before.
A megalitre is equal to 1 million litres.
According to the City of Cape Town, the last 10% of a dam’s water is difficult to extract, so the usable water in the dam is approximately 10% less than the dam level.