04/10/2017 16:53 SAST | Updated 04/10/2017 17:03 SAST

Cape Town Will Run Out Of Water In March If Consumption Doesn't Drop, Says De Lille

The useable water left in dams stood at 27.6 percent on October 2.

Rodger Bosch / AFP via Getty Images
People queue up to collect drinking water from taps fed by a spring in Newlands, Cape Town, in May 2017.

The City of Cape Town anticipates that its supply of municipal water will run out around March next year, Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday.

"If consumption is not reduced to the required levels of 500 million litres of collective use per day, we are looking at about March 2018 when supply of municipal water would not be available," she said at the unveiling of the city's critical water shortages disaster plan.

"The day or month of this happening is, however, not as important as what we do now to avoid such a time."

The current collective water use stood at 618 million litres per day. As of Monday, October 2, the useable water left in dams stood at 27.6 percent.

De Lille detailed the various ways in which the city was finding other sources of water and clamping down on delinquent water users.

New water schemes are expected to come on line by December/January, if all goes according to plan.

Water from temporary land-based desalination plants in Monwabisi and Strandfontein is expected to come on line by February 2018.

From March, additional desalination plants are scheduled to come on line.

Additional water from groundwater extraction at the Atlantis and Silverstroom aquifers is expected from January/February next year.

De Lille was optimistic after a meeting with Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane earlier on Wednesday.

"She was very supportive. We have raised a couple of issues with her. She has promised she will help," De Lille said.

"I want to assure all residents that we will not let a well-run city run out of water."