Cape Town to Set Up Disaster Operations HQ for Water Crisis

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Cape Town to Set Up Disaster Operations HQ for Water Crisis

Nearly 80% of about 700 companies that participated in the survey conducted by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry in January said they see the water crisis as a threat to their businesses, up from 51% in October, the chamber said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. The projected date for "Day Zero" is projected to be April 29, 2018, based on current water consumption behaviour and anticipated rainfall.

The ANC accused the DA of trying to opportunistically hijack the motion of no confidence to resolve its own internal squabbles over resources linked to the city's water crisis.

"We continue to call for full cooperation between the national departments of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, and water and sanitation; the Western Cape department of local government, environmental affairs and development planning together with the City of Cape Town in finding solutions to this crisis", said Dlamini.

Most fear all taps could be turned off by April because of the drought.

According to experts, the causes of the water shortages in Cape Town are due to climate change and the population growth since the 90s.

Extreme measures to stretch rapidly diminishing supplies in South Africa's second largest city will be imposed this week, including the setting up of water collection points. Rival political factions are arguing over alleged failures to prepare for the crisis. Some residents are supplementing water supply by collecting from natural springs in the city.

"A physical conflict broke out and a person was arrested by the South African Police Service", said city security chief, councillor Jean-Pierre Smith in a statement. The dams in Cape Town are dry and the local government is banking on enough rains over three years to make the dams (currently desserts) overflow. The water delivered will be distributed to Cape Town's residents soon.

The city wants visitors to follow the same guidelines given to residents, including brief showers and fewer toilet flushes.

The harsh restrictions come as the city has pleaded with the South African government to declare the situation a national disaster.

But the city's tourism board has already reported cancellations of previously scheduled trips as hotels drain swimming pools and remove bath plugs from guest rooms.

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