PATRICIA DE LILLE: Temporary drought charge would help stave off the arrival of Day Zero
Expenditure is up and revenue down as Cape Town fast-tracks measures to stop city’s taps from running dry
Cape Town is facing an unprecedented crisis. As of today, our dam levels stand at just 35%, compared with more than 50% at the same time in 2016. After three consecutive years of below-average rainfall, the city is experiencing the worst drought in its recorded history. As we head into another long, dry summer, there is a very real possibility that the taps could run dry. This has become known as Day Zero. At this point, when dam levels reach 13.5%, nearly all taps in the city will be turned off and residents will need to queue to collect drinking water at 200 collection sites across the city. To ensure that the city has every resource it needs to avoid this nightmare scenario, I have been forced to make a difficult decision. I am proposing to council on Tuesday that the city introduce a temporary drought charge as of February 1. Let me explain why. Over the past year, the city has been working overtime to secure new sources of water and to ensure that our existing supply of water g...