29/12/2017 08:48 SAST | Updated 29/12/2017 08:48 SAST

Day Zero Looms: Cape Town's Water Projects Behind Schedule

The city's seven water schemes are all reported to be behind schedule, bringing the day when Cape Town has no water at all a step closer.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
These tree stumps at Theewaterskloof dam, Cape Town's main water supply, are normally submerged. June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

As Cape Town's water crisis continues, all seven of the City of Cape Town's water augmentation programmes have been placed on hold until the new year, and Day Zero has been moved up to April 29, according to the Cape Times.

Dam levels for Cape Town are reportedly at 32 percent, with usable water levels at 22 percent. Day Zero is when dam levels reach 13.5 percent. When Day Zero arrives, city residents will have to collect water daily from 200 collection points in the city.

With the seven projects, including the V&A Waterfront desalination plant, running behind schedule, the city's director for water and sanitation services, Peter Flower, told the Cape Times that work on the various schemes was suspended to allow workers to recharge before the new year.

"We are still optimistic that the first phase of our additional water supply programme –– that is, the projects outlined on the dashboard –– will start producing water from February 2018, and will be operating at full capacity by July," Flower told the Cape Times, adding that workers' annual breaks had also been shortened because of the urgency of the situation.

In November, , according to TimesLive, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said that residents would have to make do with 25 litres of water per day once Day Zero arrives. She added that densely populated areas like townships would be excluded from this, as there is a significant risk of disease if the taps are turned off in those areas.

Day Zero was first thought to be March 2018, but was pushed back to May 2018, before being brought forward by a day.

Level Six water restrictions will be in place from January 1, which means urban water users will have to reduce their usage by 45 percent, and agricultural users by 60 percent, Businesstech reported.

Some 200,000 households are still using more than 350 litres of water per day, despite the daily limit being 87 litres per day, according to the City of Cape Town.