South Africa has imposed water restrictions in an effort to avoid Day Zero - the date when most taps would have to be cut off. This comes at the back drop of last year's Day Zero threat that Cape Town faced.
South Africa is a water-scarce country. More than 60% of the country’s water supply is used for agriculture and only 27% is used for personal use. Reservoir levels have dropped, and rainfall is not expected until December. Intermittent water shortages have left neighborhoods in the central and northern regions of the country without water. A recent heatwave saw water usage increase.
According to the Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, many parts of the country's over 58 million population are facing water scarcities as summer arrives in the Southern Hemisphere and climate change brings hotter, drier days. She says the rainfall is becoming harder to predict and the dry season is becoming more intense.
“We have to immediately begin to disaster proof South Africa and South Africa’s security of water. We are working hard to avoid the much-dreaded Day Zero phenomenon and instead we are announcing restrictions on water usage, ” she told journalists in Johannesburg.
Restrictions have been imposed in major metropolitan areas. In Pretoria, rationing resulted in dry taps last week in Laudium. Infrastructure failure and other issues at Rand Water, South Africa's largest water supply company, were also to blame.
Header Image Credit: CGTN