Cape Town rations daily water usage ahead of crippling shortage

Cape Town rations daily water usage ahead of crippling shortage

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson added an amendment to the agenda item, which could also see mayor Patricia de Lille stripped of some of her abilities to handle the drought. "We need act the same way we have acted on the suspension of Melissa Whitehead", he said in council.

As TIME reports, once the dams reach 13.5% capacity, the municipal water supply will shut off water for all but essential services, such as hospitals.

In a controversial move, Cape Town has even produced a live water-monitoring map that displays how much water properties are using in order to encourage - or shame - residents into matching their neighbors' good habits.

The dried up Theewaterskloof dam near Cape Town, which supplies most of the city's potable water.

Council has also decided that de Lille must consult her mayoral committee before taking further decisions on the water crisis.

Households that use up to 6‚000 litres of water a month‚ now paying R28.44‚ will see their bill rise to R145.98. But that will jump to R390.82 under the new proposed tariff (a provision will be made for households larger than four people to ensure that they are not unfairly penalized). Residents will be required to source their water from one of 200 available collection sites.

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Families must apply to increase their water quota if they feel they can justify needing more than the designated allotment.

The city has employed water rationing system and each person is recommended to use 87 litres of water per day and the collective consumption has been targeted at 500 million litres a day. But these projects alone are still not enough to prevent Day Zero.

Instead residents will have to queue at standpipes for daily water rations of 25 litres (6.6 U.S. gallons). "We catch water from our showers in buckets, and throw it into our toilets", Dickson, who has been living in the South African city for the last 24 years, told Al Jazeera.

As with any single weather or climate event, it's hard to blame the Cape Town drought exclusively on our dependence on fossil fuels.

The chances of extreme drought are increasing in the Western Cape region overall.

Yet just as experts are making progress in connecting individual events, such as hurricanes, to climate change, analysis has shown that Cape Town's regional drought was likely worsened by human actions.

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