CAPE TOWN, The City of Cape Town has reprioritised 2.0 billion Rand (about 139 million US dollars) of its budget to fund seven additional water projects for the drought-hit city and its environs.

We have looked at ways to fund a first phase of water supply projects by re-looking our spending across the city to see which non-water related projects we can temporarily postpone, while protecting funds for basic and emergency services, says Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille.

The first phase projects earmarked for these funds are the desalination plants at Monwabisi, Strandfontein, the V and A Waterfront and Cape Town Harbour. The Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects and the Zandvliet water recycling project make up the first seven emergency water projects of this phase.

The city made this announcement Tuesday amidst reports that levels at dams supplying water to teh city have dropped further, with dam storage levels at 36.8 per cent and useable water levels at 26.8 per cent.

Our dam levels have declined by one percentage point over the past week. This could be attributed to the high winds and hot weather, which contributed to evaporation. We have managed to halve Cape Town’s water usage with the help of 51 per cent of our water users, who have put tremendous efforts into saving water, said De Lille.

According to the city authorities, Cape Town water users have exceeded their water usage by 82 million litres per day, with the required level set at 500 million litres per day.

The Mayor appealed to all water users, especially the 49 per cent who are not saving water yet, to join efforts to beat the drought. We need to do more to bring our usage down, while at the same time pulling out all of the stops to ensure that we implement various projects for additional water supply to help see us through to winter 2018, she stressed.