Bolander’s front page and Norman McFarlane’s excellent contribution on Cape Town’s water calamity (“Day Zero looms large”, January 31), should be compulsory reading for the City Council.
According to these contributions, 200 distribution points, each accommodating 18 700 members of the public, will be identified where potable water at 25l/person will served at each point.
Has anybody in the Cape Town City Council even the foggiest notion what this will entail?
Day Zero will be any film-maker’s greatest day with chaos looming on a scale nobody can imagine.
Let us assume that each distribution point will be operative for 24 hours a day.
That means that 779 people will be attended to every hour, or one person every five seconds.
In that five seconds, the 25l container will be filled and administrative details taken (apparently this water will not be free).
Furthermore, three eight-hour shifts of council personnel will be required.
Besides council staff, provision will be made for police and/or military staff, also on a shift basis, to maintain law and order.
At least 800 people will turn up at each service point for each of the 24 hours.
This will require at least 10 members of the latter staff, i.e. 30 per day per distribution point.
All personnel will need to take breaks in between, and suitable facilities must be created at each point.
This will include ablution facilities, also for the public. The public will mostly arrive by car – who and how will this traffic be controlled throughout the day and night?
For how many days will this system be operated?
How will the elderly and younger children, each entitled to their individual quota, be able to carry 25 kg of water for some distance?
And what about enterprising souls selling municipal water along the Baden Powell and Strandfontein roads?
If Day Zero ever arrives, the council’s planning staff should bear full responsibility.
The first water restrictions put in place by the City council were in March 2017, just before the start of the rainy season.
At that stage, the council should have encouraged the public to make provision for the saving of rainwater (in December, I collected more than 10 000 * water after only three nights of rain); at the same time adding a provision to building plans to provide appropriate facilities for the catchment of rain water, besides controlling the expansion of housing developments.
(Of the latest 18 000 house plans approved, how many were made to provide facilities for catchment of rain water?)
The council’s response was, as water consumption was reduced, to increase the price of potable water and to continue with threats and restrictions without doing anything tangible, besides blaming various agencies except themselves.
I really and sincerely hope that Day Zero will not arrive.