Residents have been forced to think about how they will flush toilets, shower or even drink water in the days and months ahead-all coming to a climax in April when Cape Town may have to shut off its taps, becoming the first major city in the world to run out of water.
Capetonians have to use less than 50 litres of water a day. Agricultural usage is likely to drop significantly over the next few weeks as numerous agricultural users in the Western Cape Supply System, where the city also draws its water from, have used up their water allocation as per agreement with the National Department of Water and Sanitation.
The release will form part of other initiatives such as extracting water from aquifers and temporary desalination plants, but ultimately the city wants water consumption reduced to 450 million litres per day, from 547 million litres per day.
Meanwhile, the city is assuring tourists and business visitors that they can still come to Cape Town, despite the water rationing.
A auto guard pushes a trolley full of water after filling up at the Fountain Spring in Newlands, Cape Town.
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Meanwhile, Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning minister Anton Bredell said the local government is now securing water supplies at schools, hospitals and other facilities. Thank you to all those Day Zero heroes who are already doing so! Residents using too much water will be fined. If drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by so-called "Day Zero", people will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 USA gallons). Some say poorer residents are unfairly blamed as concerns rise over wasting water.
The previous forecast for "Day Zero" was April 16.
Cape Town, a top global tourist destination, has both high-income ocean Drought Photo Galleryside neighborhoods and sprawling informal settlements.
"It is a non-profit organisation", said Water Shortage South Africa's CEO, Benoit Le Roy.
Cape Town resident Steven Saayman said, "I don't think we will probably run out completely out of water but we just prepared like in 1994 when everybody was filling up their cupboards with food and also with the elections, everybody was anxious so I think that's normally like the same thing here".
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"Given the severity of the drought and the uncertainty around rainfall, we needed to be flexible in our approach and allow for both permanent and temporary solutions in order to ensure that we minimise any risk of acute water shortages", Limberg said, according to AllAfrica.
There are also worries the water crisis could have a long-term impact on the city's economy if "Day Zero" does occur. "It's a great relief to us".
There have been "just under 70 cases" of listeria reported in the Western Cape, said Virginia de Azevedo, City of Cape Town Health Manager for Area East (including Khayelitsha, Strand and Sir Lowry's Pass).
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance party that governs Cape Town, said the latest delay in Day Zero is proof that the threat can be defeated.
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