Cape Town in South Africa could run out of water by April, as the city faces its worst drought in a century, Reuters reported.
As the situation currently stands, “Day Zero” – the date taps are expected to run dry – is April 22, authorities said. After this, residents will be forced to stand in queues for emergency rations.
Authorities said desalination plants are being built and underground boreholes are being drilled to combat the situation.
“At the current rate the city is likely to reach Day Zero on April 22,” said councillor Xanthea Limberg, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for water, according to Reuters.
When the water runs, residents will have to collect water from 200 collection centres in the city. They will be allowed 25 litres of water a day per person, Reuters quoted officials as saying.
The government has also introduced an online water consumption map that will let residents check their own and their neighbours’ water consumption habits based on municipal bills, ABCNews reported.
Despite the acute water shortage, some people ignore the suggestion to use only 87 litres of water per person a day, Limberg said.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has also been asking residents to save as much water as possible.
Cape Town is also a tourism hotspot, another challenge the government is facing. To help, the hospitality industry said they were reusing water used for washing dishes and clothes to water gardens.
Authorities want to reduce the city’s consumption to 500 million litres a day – half the amount used two years ago.
After three years of drought, the city’s dams have just 36% water left in them, the ABC report said. The last 10% of this is unsuitable for drinking.