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Cape Town is currently in the midst of a period of prolonged drought, however the city has recently advised that "Day Zero" will not now take place this year. With residents, businesses, farmers and visitors pulling together to significantly reduce their water consumption, Cape Town can now confidently state that dam levels will not now fall below the 13% level that would have triggered further water restrictions. The Cape region experiences winter rainfall, usually beginning in May, and lasting well into August. This rainfall, combined with the city's water saving initiatives should ensure that Day Zero does not become a reality.
Until Cape Towns dams are replenished, water saving measures will remain in place across the city. All of the hotels that we work with have procedures in place to ensure that the impact to their guests will be minimal and will have little real effect on their stay.
If you are staying at hotels in Cape Town, you will most likely find the following initiatives in place;
- you will be requested to take showers rather than baths in hotels
- swimming pools may be filled with salt water
- bed room linen (including towels) may not be changed daily
- if you are renting a car in Cape Town you may also find that your hire car may not be washed before you pick it up.
If you are visiting Cape Town, you should be mindful of water consumption and comply with local restrictions, but none of these measures should really impact on your enjoyment of your visit to the city. All restaurants and bars will still be in operation. Many parts of the hospitality industry have proactively implemented water savings and water augmentation solutions to ensure ongoing availability of water in their establishments. A new desalination plant is also due to open in the V & A waterfront – the first of eight across the city – and this will also alleviate the situation. Water restrictions will also have no impact on your ability to access and enjoy primary tourism attractions such as Table Mountain, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Robben Island and of course the V+A Waterfront.
Please also be aware that the water shortages are only affecting the city of Cape Town. Beyond Cape Town, water usage is not being restricted. This includes both Hermanus and some of the Winelands region which are both just a short drive from the city centre.
The City of Cape Town has a dedicated website for anyone wanting more information;