#DayZero pushed back to June, as drought declared a national disaster

Cape Town

After three years of persistent drought, the government has warned that the coastal city would be forced to turn off most of its taps in 2018 - a date also known as "Day Zero".

Running water in the port city of 4 million has been affected by a wider pattern of climate change seen around the country including the Western Cape, where Cape Town is located, the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces.

They continue to be concerned that seasonal rainfall expected to start around May could be low.

Rains in Cape Town over the weekend raised hopes that the situation would improve, but the downpours were neither heavy nor long enough to have an impact on the situation.

The statement, published in the official government gazette, means that the national government is now responsible for tackling the issue and ensuring relief efforts.

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Capetonians have managed to reduce their collective water usage to 526 million litres per day. Americans use close to 100 gallons of water a day.

Opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane praised residents of Cape Town, a tourist magnet, for significantly slashing their water consumption.

Cape Town and other areas of the Western Cape are in the grips of a a devastating drought which has led to the implementation of severe water restrictions.

Spokesman Hossam Imam said the minister screened a video about the drought crisis in Cape Town to send a clear message to the whole world to work hard to avoid having such kind of crises in the future.

A single toilet flush roughly uses nine litres of water.

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