Cape Town Water Crisis: Relief May Be on the Way

(Ben1183/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images) Photo by Ben1183/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Much-needed rain is forecasted for Cape Town on Friday, according to the South African Weather Service. It will a welcome gift after the area has suffered a three-year-long drought. However, while the rain is expected to last into Saturday, it’s not expected to be anywhere near enough to solve the current crisis. On a positive note, it may push back Day Zero just a few more days. Currently the taps will be shut off on May 11, after more severe restrictions were enforced at the end of January when Day Zero was projected to occur on April 12.

A big reason why Day Zero was pushed back to May 11, according to The South African, were the farmers who began to rely less and less on the city’s water, with a goal of only 10 percent of their water coming from the city by April. Their usage was at 30 percent.

So, while water-saving measures are still going strong in Cape Town, there is some reason for optimism.

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Additionally, Lucille Sive, CEO of The Travel Corporation’s Africa Division has just returned from the city, saying that “Cape Town is open for business.” The statement did warn of “a few minor adjustments to [visitors’] personal hygiene and dining routines,” but that otherwise the hotels, restaurants and attractions were not disrupted.

In order to maintain its hotels, Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd. is building its own desalination plant. The company owns over 15 hotels in the Cape Town/Western Cape region, including mid-scales, several 4-star properties and the 5-star Westin Cape Town. The plant should be operational by early March, according to Bloomberg.com.

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