Drought South Africa

An Update on the Drought affecting Tourism in the Western Cape, South Africa

by Shannon De Kock September 18, 2018

The winter months have brought with it some much-needed rain but the drought is still a feature for Capetonians. Locals have been urged to continue saving during the drought before the long summer hits.


Capetonians have a reason to be proud - Cape Town is the first major city in the world to reduce its water consumption by 50% within a year. This adjustment combined with the generous rainfall in March has provided some short relief as water restrictions will be reduced on October 1st.

The City Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson announced that the water restrictions will be reduced from level 6B to Level 5 next month.

"The enormously positive response from Capetonians when called upon to reduce water usage, as well as advanced pressure and water management programmes by the City, saved the say and Cape Town avoided the worst-case scenario."

Some believe the easing of water restrictions will restore investor confidence in Cape Town. This increased confidence will also revive the tourism sector.

Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that in order to boost tourism and the film industry, the message needs to be sent out globally that the City has the water situation under control.

"Unfortunately, the drought and the Day Zero story made people look elsewhere for holiday destinations and filming locations. They may have liked the alternatives so we will have to fight hard to get the business back," Myburgh said.

Since the rains, many suburbs' water usage is up by 20% despite dam levels still at a concerning level as this graph by data consultancy Eighty20 clearly shows. 

Water usage Western Cape Graph

According to Eighty20 water tracker, water usage in the city is still above 17% of what it should be.

One indicator that the worst is not over is Beaufort West is completely out of an accessible water supply with only 1% drinking water available, it is receiving donations from good Samaritans from all over the Western Cape.

The threat of Day Zero is now over but water-saving measures are still much needed as this graph shows.

Water usage Western Cape Graph

Although dam levels are up 65% from last year, this graph from the city shows a steady decline in rainfall in the Western Cape which could result in a dire situation when the long summer comes.

Nevertheless, residents are in good spirits as is detected by the positive sentiment on social media.

Social media post water shedding group

Social media post water shedding group

Sources:

http://water.eighty20.co.za/
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/easing-of-water-restrictions-will-restore-international-investor-confidence-in-cape-town-20180912
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/cape-town-water-consumption-drops-by-43-million-litres-20180327




Shannon De Kock
Shannon De Kock

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