South Africa-Environment-Water

S/Africa’s Cape Town eases water restrictions following rains

APA-Cape Town (South Africa)

Rainfall at the weekend that caused flooding in some parts of Cape Town and snowfall along its surrounding mountains have pushed the level of the city's water storage dams to 62 percent, authorities have said.

This is an increase of 1.9 percent in a week, the city fathers said on Monday.

Due to the rise in the dam levels, the city fathers said they have requested the national ministry of water and sanitation to reduce its water restrictions from 45 to 40 percent for the city, and from 60 to 50 percent for agriculture.

The city made the proposal at a meeting with the ministry and other water users, agriculture and municipalities on Friday, the city fathers said, adding that the ministry said it would respond to the request before the month ends.

The ministry has the power to decide on the amount of water that towns, cities, agriculture and industry can use, and imposes percentage cuts in times of drought.

Due to the Western Cape Province's three-year drought, the ministry told agriculture to cut consumption by 60 percent and the city by 45 percent.

Cape Town's water supply is a lot better than it was this time last year, when dams stood at 34 percent, and is about the same as it was at this time in 2016, when levels were just under 60 percent.

Cape Town, the country’s tourism mecca, had expressed fear of arriving what it called “Day Zero” of water shortages at the height of the water crisis as its water dams nearly dried. To stem Day Zero, the city imposed water restrictions.

NM/jn/APA

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