City activates water disaster plan, set to kick off on Day Zero

The City established its Disaster Operations Centre (DOC) on Monday to execute its Water Disaster Plan, which will take effect in the event of Day Zero.

The City said its executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, will be permanently seconded as Incident Commander to the DOC.

“While the City is focusing all its efforts on beating back Day Zero, we do need to be prepared for a scenario where we take control of the City’s water supply in order to extend it into the winter months. We will shut off supply to taps when our dams reach a collective level of 13.5%.

“In order to avoid this, we must reduce current consumption to 450 megalitres of total consumption a day. This equates to 50 litres per person per day,” the City said in a statement.

“Since March 2017, the City’s Water and Sanitation department has introduced various initiatives to lower water demand, including advanced pressure reduction to lower the rate at which water flows, and the installation of water meters to reduce consumption.

“We will continue with these initiatives over the next few weeks to extend our water supply for as long as possible.”

They said it would be the task of the DOC to manage the water collection points.

“The City’s Disaster Risk Management Department has been consulting with the international community since early last year on how best to distribute water in a time of crisis.

“Water tankers will be used to deliver water to vulnerable groups such as old age homes and care facilities. We are also engaging retailers and the bottled water association to ramp up their distribution networks to increase bottled water supply, so that those who do not want to use the water collection points can purchase water.

“SAPS and the SANDF have confirmed that they will assist the City to secure the water collection points. The deployment would include inner perimeter security as well as outer perimeter security. There will be static deployment as well as rotational vehicle patrols.”

The City said no one will be turned away from the water collection points.

“All persons living in Cape Town will be entitled to collect water at these points. No one will be required to provide any identification to collect their daily allocation of water.

“The collection of water will only be regulated in order to prevent any one person from collecting far above their daily water allocation.”

Organisations able to assist with delivering water to the vulnerable during a Day Zero scenario can email

Organisations able to assist with donations of containers or water can email