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Water consumption spikes in drought-stricken Cape Town

Collective water consumption has increased by 5% from 516 million litres to 542 million litres over the past several days.

Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Many Capetonians are slipping back into their water guzzling ways.

Collective water consumption has increased by 5% from 516 million litres to 542 million litres over the past several days.

This spike has officials worried, prompting further calls for Capetonians to watch their usage.

The City of Cape Town’s deputy mayor Ian Neilson says: “The city will therefore continue its drought interventions, including pressure management, accelerated leak repair, level 6 b water restrictions and tariffs for as long as needed, to see us through the drought.”

Residents have been urged to continue water saving efforts. Authorities have called on residents to use less than 50 litres per person per day.

Last week, however, activists marched to Parliament to oppose the City of Cape Town’s water and electricity tariff proposals. The march was organised by two groups, Save Cape Town and Stop COCT.

Residents are opposing the city’s proposed 26.9% water and sanitation services increase and an 8.1% rise in electricity tariffs.

Stop COCT founder Sandra Dickson says they’re demanding that the city reduces the cost of water and includes public participation for all water-based decisions.

“How can the City of Cape Town expect the working class to pay about 25% more on a municipal bill?”

Hoda Davids, a protester from Mitchells Plain, says that water and electricity are already expensive and the increases will put poor people in debt.

“The [increases] will force poor people, who are already battling to put food on the table, into more debt.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille has revealed most Capetonians still exceed the daily limit of 87 litres of water per person per day and soon that could cost them and that council will vote to introduce Level 6B water restrictions which will reduce the target to 50 litres per day.  This is what 50 litres per day means.

Additional reporting by Kaylynn Palm.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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