An aerial view shows a cow walking on a strip of arid land in the file photo. Picture: THE TIMES/LEBOHANG MASHILOANE
An aerial view shows a cow walking on a strip of arid land in the file photo. Picture: THE TIMES/LEBOHANG MASHILOANE

How will your company be affected if the taps run dry for three months this year or next?

That’s the grim scenario businesses have been asked to contemplate in a survey of the economic impact of the drought in the Western Cape.

Since 2015‚ the drought is estimated to have cost more than R14bn in the agriculture sector alone‚ but the provincial Economic Development Department has commissioned the online survey in an attempt to get a more accurate picture across all business sectors.

Business are asked about their water consumption and savings‚ as well as the costs they have incurred in securing alternative water supplies.

"What percentage decrease [in revenue and jobs] will your business/industry experience if there is no piped/municipal water for three months in 2018 or 2019 or if you need to use 45% less [off the 2015 baseline] municipal supplied water for the next two years," reads one of the questions included in the survey.

The survey also floats the idea of water tariff increases ranging between 25% and 400%‚ asking what impact this would have on production and sales revenue.

Finally‚ it asks what support businesses need to survive the crisis‚ and whether they have planned for "day zero".

The Western Cape Department of Economic Development, who commissioned the study, said the survey aimed to achieve "a better understanding of the business response to the crisis‚ as well as current and potential future impacts of the crisis".

To access the survey click here:

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