Experts say too late for Western Cape drought plan

The Cape's persistent dry spell, according to a weather scientist, is expected to continue at least until autumn.

FILE: The Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town. Photo: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - As Western Cape authorities scramble to stave off day zero, some international experts say that it is too late to plan for a drought amid the current water crisis.

The Cape's persistent dry spell, according to a weather scientist, is expected to continue at least until autumn.

A drought has been described as a creeping disaster that gradually takes over.

WATCH: How are you tackling #WatershedWednesday?

But Australian authorities weren't sleeping on the job when a 12-year drought, which ended in 2009, gripped parts of the country.

Planning and implementation started decades ago.

Secure water resources are guaranteed with several mega desalination plants in western and eastern Australia.

Perth-based desalination expert Gary Crisp says a local came up with an innovative toilet now used globally. Crisp says it saves more than 30,000 litres of water per household every year.

“They invented the dual flush toilet system here in Australia, got very strict on monitoring losses, a lot of it through pipe leakage and in some cases because of high pressure reduction system.”

Melbourne, a city with more than four million people, had only 26% water left when, in the nick of time, the drought finally broke.