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2018, the year Cape Town dodged Day Zero

Provincial and local government spent millions of rands in 2018 to tackle the Western Cape’s drought.

FILE: Day Zero might only hit in 2019, but some Cape Town residents continue to stock up on water reserves and collect water from the Newlands mountain spring. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - As 2018 comes to an end, large parts of the Western Cape are breathing easier.

This was the year that the worst drought in a century finally broke.

Provincial and local government spent millions of rands in 2018 to tackle the Western Cape’s drought.

“If residents do not stick to the 86 litres/person per day, it would mean that Day Zero will be moving forward. Day Zero will be on 22 April,” says former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

The year started with dire warnings of Day Zero and as dam levels decreased week after week, local and provincial authorities put their heads together and came up with plans to deal with the water crisis.

The City of Cape Town ran various Day Zero awareness and media campaigns in communities, schools and hospitals to get residents to reduce consumption.

This cost the municipality more than R1 million.

Water augmentation projects were introduced, such as temporary desalination plants. Three plants were built and eventually went online mid-year after several delays.

These plants cost about R450 million spread over 24 months.

Capetonians did their part too, reducing water consumption throughout the year.

When winter began everyone held their breath and the rains came later than usual, but enough to fill the dams to reasonable levels.

And that (winter rains) combined with residents' efforts to save water meant two reductions in the water restrictions and a sigh of relief from the Mother City.

WATCH: Day Zero might not happen in 2018 - Mmusi Maimane

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)