How do you as a city go from consuming more than 1.2 billion litres of water a day in February 2015, to consuming on average 511 million litres by 12 March 2018? This is the question I kept asking myself once the powers that be in the City management announced that Day Zero has been pushed out to an indefinite date in 2019.
It turns out the answer is by coming together as a city and uniting its citizens behind one of the most impressive water saving campaigns of the millennium. Of the impressive reduction we achieved as a city, more than 400 million litres per day was shaved off in a single year, between February 2017 and February 2018. The daily water reduction in Cape Town has indelibly played a role in pushing Day Zero further out, and Capetonians’ hard work paid off, the City said.
This is just one example of the power of a city that unites behind a common goal. It hasn’t been easy, let me tell you, as a local in Cape Town, and there has been a need for some tough love from the city, but all in all, Capetonians were united behind avoiding Day Zero. We refused to give up on the notion of keeping Cape Town the fun and embracing, welcoming tourism destination it is justifiably known for.
Cape Town Remains Open for Business
Cape Town, I’m proud to say, is one of South Africa and the continent’s premier tourism destinations, and with good reason. Millions of local and foreign travellers head to Cape Town each year in search of sun, beaches, wine farms, mountains and game lodges, among many other attractions. I feel guilty at times as I enjoy our incredible panoramic views throughout the year, knowing people save all year round to experience it for only two weeks a year.
It’s a magical city that, despite its challenges, continues to embrace visitors from all walks of life. While cities across the world learn how to deal with global warming, Cape Town has proven one thing: with citizens united behind dealing with challenges, cities can modernize and adapt to retain its cultures. It’s not the first time Cape Town has had to rise to the occasion and it won’t be the last.
If you were thinking of coming to Cape Town but are reconsidering it based on the news about the water crisis, you shouldn’t be letting this stop you. With Capetonians all coming together and the City of Cape Town putting many precautionary measures into place, Day Zero, also known as the day in which the taps in Cape Town will run dry, and locals being forced to collect water from collection points, won’t be occurring any time soon. With this being said, I would still encourage tourists to visit the Cape despite the water crisis.
How To Reduce Your Water Consumption When Visiting Cape Town
I reached out to a number of local guest houses and hotels to see what they’re doing to help implement precautionary measures in the city. Let’s take a look at what I found:
- Book accommodation which has water-saving techniques in place. You can ask about this when making your booking.
- When travelling from places outside of the Western Cape, bring a couple of 5L bottles of drinking water with.
- Ensure you pour yourself a glass of water for when you brush your teeth and not let the tap run.
- If you’re making use of self-catering accommodation be sure not wash your laundry until you’ve got a full load.
- Only flush the toilet when necessary. There are many products available on the market to keep your bathroom hygienic and you will probably find these in the establishment you stay at as well.
I make use of this calculator on a regular basis to make sure I am sticking to my water consumption limit per day. This’ll be an informative activity for you and your family to do to see how close you are to the daily limit.
Your Holiday Won’t Be Drastically Impacted By The Restrictions
The water restrictions have caused some private accommodation and hotels to close their pools or steam rooms. Unless prearranged, for families with children, you might also notice the bath plug missing. With an estimated 60% of water users coming from formal houses, everyone has the responsibility to do their bit.
Instead of being able to access the complex swimming pool, I now make regular trips to the beach. Since the implementation of the water restrictions a few of my local shopping malls which I frequent have turned their taps off and only have hand sanitizer available for customers to make use of.
Don’t Let the Drought Stop You From Having a Memorable Holiday
If you’re planning on visiting the Cape, you’re still very much encouraged to do so to keep the tourism industry going. There are so many activities, tours and sightseeing activities you can book for you and your loved ones to still enjoy the while immersed in the natural beauty of Cape Town. Some activities you can book can include:
- Jet ski adventure around Cape Town
- Private sunset boat cruises with sundowners
- Township tour and street art walking tour
- Go on a food tour within the city centre
- Wine tasting in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
- Sustainable wine experiences
- Discover amazing art galleries and museums
By Standing Together, Day Zero Has Been Pushed Out To 2019
Thanks to the various social media pages local Capetonians have a variety of platforms to get tips from one another for new water saving techniques and reporting any faults or people who may be abusing water.
The current water crisis and the way in which Capetonians have all come together to defeat day zero can be considered commendable. Families are becoming creative in the ways in which they make use of water, resulting in substantial savings when it comes to the amount of water used.
By standing together and reducing our consumption drastically, not just in our homes but in businesses and the farming sector as well, the potential of something like Day Zero occuring has been pushed out (and hopefully completely removed!). This is a remarkable achievement and doesn’t go unnoticed.
The current water crisis and the tactics and preventative measures put in place can be considered a good example as to how you can save water back home. No matter where you’re in the world, water is a precious resource we should all be trying to save.