10 October 2017

South Africa: Western Cape Tourists Urged to Save Water

Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht/Sapa
(file photo).

The City of Cape Town has kicked off its water saving campaign, 'Save like a local' -- this time targeting tourists expected this summer.

The campaign will be used to drive awareness about the serious drought crisis, especially among visitors this coming festive season.

According to the MasterCard Destination Cities Index 2017, Cape Town, popularly known as the Mother City, raked in 1.52 million visitors in 2016.

"If this year's tourist season is similar to last year's, we can expect a bumper season and we will need all visitors to 'save like a local' and follow the example of many of our water ambassadors," said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

In partnership with the tourism sector, the campaign will include airport billboards in various foreign languages and branded flags in the CBD and Waterfront area. Mobile billboards on beaches and at tourist centres will also be used to amplify the message that Cape Town is a water-scarce region, which is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history.

All tourism and related businesses have been urged to add digital adverts to their website homepages, which highlight water scarcity in the province.

The campaign is part of the implementation of phase one of the City of Cape Town's water shortages disaster plan.

Water restrictions

Water rationing and restrictions are already underway for Western Cape residents.

Water guzzling residents have been reminded to stick to the 87 litres per day usage.

Dam storage levels are at 37.8%, with useable water at 27.8%. Consumption remains too high at 607 million litres of collective usage per day. This is 107 million litres above the consumption target of 500 million litres per day.

"It must also be borne in mind that this is a dynamic situation and the city will put further restrictions in place and lower water usage targets at short notice if required," said Limberg.

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