The City of Cape Town was reassessing a proposal made at the weekend by Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, for state-owned Umgeni Water to take over the procurement for a desalination plant to augment the city’s water supply. Cape Town shifted its focus from desalination as an augmentation option to groundwater abstraction in the short term, following consultation with the Word Bank, spokesperson Simon Maytham said on Tuesday. "It is more cost-effective and quicker to implement than temporary desalination." Tighter water restrictions apply from Thursday, limiting the use of piped municipal water to 50l per person per day from 87l a day. The city has been unable to to meet its water-use target of 500-million litres a day (now still close to 600-million), prompting it to revise its forecast for Day Zero (when the city shuts off piped supply to all residents except to essential services and critical economic sectors) to mid-April.

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