In a last-ditch attempt to stretch the available dam water in Cape Town to the winter rainy season, the city council will on Friday vote to introduce a punitive water tariff that will charge residents higher rates for usage above 6,000 litres a month. On Thursday, Cape Town council officials said taps were likely to run dry on April 21 as residents continued to ignore calls to cut back on usage. Cape Town is in the midst of its worst drought in a century with dam levels, now at a meagre 26%, dropping fast and consumption remaining high. However, because the last 10% of water is mostly unusable, it effectively means dam levels are at 16%. This is very unlikely to be enough to last the city until the end of May when the winter rainy season usually starts. "Despite our urging for months, 60% of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres [the current daily limit]," Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille said on Thursday. From February 1, the city will move to level 6B restrictions, ...

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