Cape Town’s water supply is down to its last 100 days, resulting in the municipality bringing forward its emergency supply schemes.
Dam storage levels had declined to 26.2%, one percentage point down from last week, the City of Cape Town said in a statement on Monday.
The last 10% of water was mostly not useable, meaning the 16.2% available would only last about 100 days at current consumption levels.
Consumers were urged to reduce their water usage to 100 litres per person per day to achieve targeted reduced consumption.
The emergency supply schemes included the Table Mountain Group Aquifer, a small-scale desalination plant, intensifying the city’s pressure management and water demand management programmes, and a R120m small-scale wastewater reuse plant at the Zandvliet water treatment works. The plant would produce 10 million litres of drinking water per day for the central and southern suburbs of Cape Town.
"We will progressively intensify water restrictions and will reduce water pressure further to lower consumption, which could in cases lead to intermittent supply over larger areas of the metro at the same time," said mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, Xanthea Limberg.
Rainfall over parts of the city would not materially change the low levels. Should dams reach below 10% of storage levels, a "lifeline" water supply would be implemented.
This would involve minimal supply pressure, intermittent supply, and very stringent restrictions. People in areas with low water pressure might have to get their water from tankers.
The city council could also install water management devices for consumers who failed to limit consumption, even if they already paid the highest tariffs.