PRETORIA– Although much of the attention has focused on the approaching Day Zero for Cspe Town when taps will run dry in South Africa’s second largest metropolis, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation has warned that Western Cape Province is not the only province in trouble.

There is a lot of focus on Western Cape at the moment but the truth of the matter is that Eastern Cape Province is a cause for concern (as well). KwaZulu-Natal Province is a cause for concern, says Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

Ratau said here Tuesday that Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal did not receive sufficient rainfall in the earlier part of the rainy season to last them until the next rainy season and dam levels in the Eastern Cape are at an average of just below 60 per cent while in KwaZulu-Natal, dam levels are below or around 50 per cent.

Ratau said Western Cape Province, and its capital, Cape Town, had been severely affected because its rain was receive during a different time of the year and also because of consumption patterns.

Consumption patterns in the Western Cape have continued to be much higher than what is available, not just for now but even to carry them to the next rainy season; this includes all sectors, domestic and industrial, said Ratau, who added that Day Zero could be avoided if people do what they must do.

Ratau said some provinces had recovered well with dams supplying Gauteng Province being the fullest at around 94 per cent.

However, this does not mean those in provinces which have recovered are absolved from changing their water usage patterns. Ratau said South Africans did not realise that they live in a water-scarce country. The average South African average annual rainfall is 450 milimetres, nearly half the world average. The drought has made the situation worse.

He said South Africans must understand that the country had not yet come out of the regional drought which started nearly four years ago. As South Africans we are still consuming the commodity like we are a water-rich country, as though we are not in a drought. We only have so much available but our consumption levels are still much than where we should be at in order for us to go from one rainy season to another.

Ratau urged South Africans to change to conserve water. He said if South Africans did not change their water consumption habits there would be trouble. He warned against over dependence on borehole water as it could have adverse results.

Some of the suggestions by authorities on how to save water include taking shorter showers, and re-using shower and bath water for the toilet.