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Day Zero is retreating into the dim and distant future‚ the City of Cape Town said on Tuesday.

The projected date when taps will be turned off is now Monday July 9‚ five weeks later than the date suggested a week ago.

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said a gift of water from Groenland farmers and reduced consumption were the factors that had pushed Day Zero 20 weeks into the future.

“This week’s lower rate of consumption can be attributed to the Groenland water reaching Steenbras Upper Dam last week … as well as to a further reduction in Cape Town’s weekly average demand to 523 megalitres per day‚ compared to 1[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]130 in 2014.”

But Neilson warned Day Zero could creep forward again once the Groenland water was used up unless the city reduced consumption to 450 megalitres a day.

“I urge the residents of Cape Town not to ease up on their water-saving efforts‚” he said.

“We cannot afford to slow down when the estimated Day Zero date moves out‚ simply because we cannot accurately predict the volume of rainfall still to come or when it will come. Last year we had abnormally low winter rainfall‚ and we cannot assume that this year will be any different.”

Neilson said preparations for Day Zero would continue‚ with a further rollout of pressure management projects and the installation of water management devices at the properties of high users.

“Enforcement blitzes will also continue to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions.”

Dam levels on Monday were 24.4%‚ half a percentage point lower than a week earlier.

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