Parched Cape Town imposes water restrictions due to drought

Parched Cape Town imposes water restrictions due to drought

The South African city of Cape Town is instructing people to severely restrict water use because of the area's worst drought in more than a century.

The city, a major international tourist destination, said it is experiencing the impact of climate change and predicts little rain in the next three weeks.

It wants daily water usage to be reduced to 100 litres (26 gallons) per person and recommends taking two-minute showers and flushing the toilet only when necessary.

Residents worried about sediment from dams with low water levels are starting to boil tap water, said Justin Friedman, founder of For Love of Water , a non-profit group that promotes conservation.

Some people are worried that the city might turn off the taps at some point, he added.

The city of nearly four million people is in its low tourist season. Tour operators hope eventual rains will improve the situation before the high season towards the end of the year.

Drought-stricken Western Cape, which includes Cape Town, was declared a disaster zone on Monday by provincial premier Helen Zille. The designation gives more power to authorities to direct resources to the water crisis.

Parched Cape Town imposes water restrictions due to drought

The levels of dams that supply Cape Town are at 20.7%, down by 0.7 points from a week ago, the city said.

It noted that the last 10% of a dam's water is mostly unusable because of mud, weeds and debris. Municipal repair crews are also struggling to attend to hundreds of leaks and faults that cause water loss.

As dam levels drop, the city said in a statement, authorities will "start to implement a lifeline supply which entails reducing the water pressure to a very low level across" the region.

AP

More in this Section

Gascoigne ‘only had three or four cans’ before alleged sex assault, court hearsGascoigne ‘only had three or four cans’ before alleged sex assault, court hears

Leading candidates face grilling as 12 Democrats pitch for presidential nodLeading candidates face grilling as 12 Democrats pitch for presidential nod

Protesters leave North Sea oil platforms after more than 24 hoursProtesters leave North Sea oil platforms after more than 24 hours

Japan’s bullet trains bear the brunt of typhoon’s onslaughtJapan’s bullet trains bear the brunt of typhoon’s onslaught


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner