Time to pay attention

Hi, I’m Fouzia and I have not been saving water.

I woke up too late, to the smell of coffee burning in my dry pot.

My nostrils are on fire and I cannot flush them.

Imagine waking up and finding out there is no water.

Pause.

No water to drink, flush the toilet, brush my teeth, wash, cook, clean, earn a living, grow food and feed livestock.

The point of this column is to get us in the mindset of saving water, money and the environment.

According to Mayor Patricia de Lille, there is no time for daydreaming.

Saturday April 21 will be Day Zero. After that, we will have to queue to collect water from specific points.

Nothing will come out of your taps at home.

I am among the six out of 10 Capetonians who have failed to save water.

Considering my municipal bill and the proposed tariff increase as from next month, I may not be able to afford coffee soon.

The daily quota for each person has been reduced from 87 litres to 50 litres of water.

Thisallocates 6000 litres of water for the month to my household of four, which will cost us R145.98 at the end of February. For now my bill is around R28.44, which is five times less.

Rounded off, the punishment equates to about two cents a litre.

To force residents to use less water, council has put the tariffs on a sliding scale. Defaulters who still use 87 litres a day will pay almost double a litre, which will cost the household of four, R390.82 a month.

Their penalty will be 2.5 times more than mine if they do not tell the City of Cape Town of their bigger household.

Trying to access water for domestic use is among the many challenges we face as a city.

In this column we will help you face the challenge with the facts, updates and ideas as the countdown to Day Zero begins.

Tips to help you save water

Visualise what half a bathtub of water looks like. That’s 50 litres.

Go to http://mycapetownneeds.co.za/thinkwater/calculator.html to calculate daily water usage.

Most importantly, start saving water now.

Dam levels

By Monday January 22, dams had 244 555 megalitres of water (27.2%), down more than 1% from a week before.

A megalitre is equal to
1 million litres.

According to the City of Cape Town, the last 10% of a dam’s water is difficult to extract, so the usable water in the dam is approximately 10% less than the dam level.