(Xinhua) -- The City of Cape Town began to implement
stricter water restrictions on Monday amid predictions that the
city might be the first major metropolis in the world to run out
“Level 6 water restrictions are in
effect from January 1, 2018,” the city said in a notice as
the worst drought in history hit the city.
Under Level 6 water restrictions,
agricultural users and commercial properties need to reduce
usage by 60 percent and 45 percent respectively, compared with
the pre-drought corresponding period in 2015.
The new measures discourage borehole
water use for outdoor purposes in order to preserve groundwater
resources and prohibts hosing down of paved surfaces with
municipal drinking water.
Irrigation or watering with municipal
drinking water, use of portable play pools and washing of
vehicles, trailers, caravans or boats with municipal drinking
water are also banned.
According to the new restrictions,
private swimming pools may not be topped up or filled with
municipal drinking water.
Residential units using more than
10,500 litres per month will be fined or have water management
devices installed on their properties, the city said.
Fines are expected to be in the region
of 5,000 rand (about 403 U.S. dollars) to 10,000 rand (about 806
“Use no more than 87 litres of
municipal drinking water per person per day whether you are
at home, work or elsewhere,” said the city.
The city imposes the restrictions due
to insufficient rainfall and fast declining dam levels.
It’s predicted that Day Zero would
come in March when dams suppling water to the city would run
dry, the city’s taps would be switched off and water would have
to be collected from designated points.
Stricter water restrictions are
promoted as being necessary in order to avoid Day Zero, the city
“We need to work together to change
the way we use our water,” the city said.
As the new measures took effect, some
parts of the city were already experiencing water outages.
A recent New York Times article
suggested the possibility that Cape Town might be the first
major city in the world to run out of water.
The city currently is busy building a
desalination plant and working hard to drill for ground water to
make up for the water shortage. The plant is expected to be
operational as early as February.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has
warned that the city would run out of water around March 2018 as
the worst water crisis showed no sign of abating.
But the mayor assured residents that
the city would try every means possible to prevent that from
As the second-most populous urban area
in South Africa after Johannesburg, Cape Town is the capital of
the Western Cape province and the seat of South Africa’s
Parliament, with a population of nearly four million.
In 2014, the city was named the best
place in the world to visit by both the American New York Times
and the British Daily Telegraph.