Last week, Mayor Patricia de Lille warned the city had reached a “point of no return”. Officials are urging people to switch off their toilet cisterns and limit flushing to conserve water. They’re being also told to limit showers to 90 seconds. The city has lowered the water pressure in its mains. Water levels at dams supplying the city have dropped 1.4% in the last week.
Cape Town drought
A Day Zero, when the water supply will be shut off, is possible. If so, businesses and schools will be forced to close because of the lack of running water unless they have their own water supplies, like a well or rainwater tank, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) predicts.The head of the provincial government said if the taps ran dry it would be “the disaster above all disasters”. “No-one should be showering more than twice a week at this stage. You need to save water as if your life depends on it because it does,” Premier Helen Zille recommended Friday. Last year, she revealed that she was showering once every three days. In normal conditions, a person uses about 15 litres per minute for a typical shower and the same amount when flushing a standard toilet According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses an average of 88 gallons of water per day at home.But now, in Cape Town, things must be different. Cape Town is South Africa’s second-largest city and a top international tourist draw. “Unwashed hair is now a sign of social responsibility,” residents say now. Some who have money to leave Cape Town until the crisis subsides are doing so.