De Lille tours CT drilling site amid water crisis

Pressure is ramping up for city bosses to find alternative water resources amid the worst drought to grip the Western Cape in a century.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille seen during a visit to the site of an aquifer in Mitchells Plain on 11 January 2018, which will assist with water supply as the city battles drought. Picture: Graig-Lee Smith/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Mayor Patricia de Lille on Thursday toured a drilling site, one of Cape Town’s three main aquifers.

Ever-dropping dam levels have forced authorities to find water elsewhere.

De Lille has confirmed the dams are below 30%.

“Capetonians still use 587 million litres of water per day. There are many people who aren't adhering to the 87 litres of water per day. That is adding up and because of that, day zero has now been moved.”

Day zero - which is the day the taps will run dry - is now 22 April.

With day zero closer, the pressure is ramping up for city bosses to find alternative water resources amid the worst drought to grip the Western Cape in a century.

From desalination plants to extracting water from boreholes and aquifers - like the one being drilled in Mitchells Plain - every option is being explored.

Cape Town's three aquifers are expected to yield an additional 150 million litres a day.

In a desperate attempt to avoid turning off the taps, the city is working around the clock.

The drilling and construction started at Mitchells Plain on Wednesday and will begin soon at the Atlantis and Table Mountain management aquifers.

Repeated warnings to consumers to save water appear to be having little impact.

LISTEN: CT Mayor Patricia de Lille chats water crisis, corruption

Many Cape Town residents are still not adhering to the 87 litres of water per person per day rule.

Water restrictions have also been heightened.

Level 6 water restrictions follows the directive by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.

It means excessive usage for domestic properties is now classified as being in excess of 10,500 litres per month.

Households which consume more than 10,500 litres per month could have a water management device fitted on the property.

However, residents who have valid reasons for monthly consumption higher than the 10,500 litres restriction limit must apply to the City of Cape Town to get a quota increase prior to a device being installed.

Furthermore, level 6 water restrictions aim to discourage the use of borehole water for outdoor purposes in order to preserve groundwater resources.

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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)