Cape City to expire of water inside weeks

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Zille also cited severely low dam levels in the Eastern Cape, particularly in the water supply network of Nelson Mandela Bay.

"Due to a drop in the dam levels of 1.4 percent, "Day Zero" has, as of today, moved forward to 12 April", Ian Neilson, the deputy mayor, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The coastal city of Cape Town, located in the Western Cape of South Africa, has issued new water restrictions with the city now on the verge of running out of water.

The situation is even more dire in other parts of the country, where the town of Patensie has just 25 percent of their water quota left for the year, and Hankey just 9 percent; both are estimated to have their day zero on March 8, SABC TV reporter Jayed- Leigh Paulse said. The latest estimate for this unprecedented event is April 12.

The minister said critics like Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and DA leader Mmusi Maimane were trying to absolve themselves of their responsibilities in the management of the water crisis.

The local government claims it tried to place water restrictions on residents previously by limiting the use of appliances and shortening the length of showers, but starting February 1, Cape Town "will force residents to cut their water consumption to 13.2 gallons per day, down from 23 gallons", according to NPR.

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A typical shower uses 15 litres per minute while a standard toilet consumes up to 15 litres per flush, according to WaterWise, a South African water usage awareness campaign.

"Life beyond Day Zero will present exceptional circumstances, and we hope that emergency bylaws will be brought in to enable Capetonians to use and share groundwater with neighbours for more uses in order to relieve the burden on the City's emergency Points of Distribution (PoDs)", WWF said in a press release.

"Day zero has been heading in one direction and that's towards us", said Christine Colvin, a resident and freshwater expert with the World Wildlife Fund.

Farrel Cohen, manager of the Metropolitan Golf Club in Mouille, said he was "too afraid to even think about" what Day Zero would mean for Cape Town.

"No amount of politicking and scapegoats will do away with the imminent water blackout we face in the Western Cape if we fail to act responsibly", Mokonyane said.

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