The City of Cape Town has reprioritised R2bn of its budget to fund seven additional water projects.
“We have looked at ways to fund a first phase of water supply projects by relooking at our spend across the city to see which non-water related projects we can temporarily postpone, while protecting funds for basic and emergency services,” said the executive mayor Patricia de Lille.
The first phase projects earmarked for these funds are the desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town Harbour. The Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects and the Zandvliet water recycling project make up the first seven emergency water projects of this phase.
The city made this announcement amid reports that their dam levels have dropped, with dam storage levels at 36.8% and useable water at 26.8%.
“Our dam levels have declined by 1% over the past week. This could be attributed to the high winds and hot weather, which contributed to evaporation. We have managed to halve Cape Town’s water usage with the help of 51% of our water users, who have put tremendous efforts into saving water,” said De Lille.
According to the city, water users have exceeded their water usage by 82-million litres per day, with the required level set at 500-million litres per day.
De Lille appealed to all water users, especially the 49% who are not saving water yet, to join efforts to beat the drought.
“We need to do more to bring our usage down, while at the same time pulling out all of the stops to ensure that we implement various projects for additional water supply to help see us through to winter 2018.”