The Stream, February 6: Cape Town’s Day Zero Pushed to Mid-May Following Decline in Agricultural Water Use

The Global Rundown

Cape Town officials push Day Zero to May 11, citing a decline in agricultural water usage. Residents of Jakarta, Indonesia, brace for floods as the government opens sluice gates on a major upstream reservoir. Four hospitals in Manchester, England, halt operations due to a water main leak. China names several environmental goals, which include cleaning up polluted cropland and improving drinking water quality. A group of scientists and economists condemn Australia’s Murray-Darling basin plan, calling it a “gross waste” of money.

“It must be noted that the City does not have any control over agricultural releases, so this is the best estimate we can make with the information at hand.” –Ian Neilson, deputy mayor of Cape Town, South Africa, in reference to Day Zero being pushed from April 16 to May 11 due to a decline in agricultural water use. Despite the improvement, Neilson urged Cape Town residents to continue using no more than 50 liters of water per day, noting that a significant decline in urban usage is still needed to prevent a shutoff of the city’s taps. News24

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By The Numbers

4 Number of hospitals in Manchester, England, that were forced to cancel operations due to a burst water main. Patients have been asked to bathe with wipes and avoid flushing toilets to preserve water supplies. The water main is in the process of being repaired. BBC

80 percent Proportion of China’s water that the government hopes will be fit for human consumption by the end of the decade. Improving drinking water quality is one of the country’s major priorities in coming years, along with making 90 percent of its polluted farmland safe for agriculture use by 2020. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A group of seven economists and five scientists have denounced Australia’s Murray-Darling basin plan, calling it a “gross waste” of money that has failed to achieve its environmental goals. The group claims that although the $4 billion water recovery plan has improved specific sections of the basin, it has not improved the overall health of the river system. The Guardian

On The Radar

Heavy rainfall has inundated the area around Jakarta, Indonesia, in recent days, causing landslides and flash floods. Jakarta residents are bracing for further flooding after authorities were forced to open sluice gates on a major reservoir upstream of the city. Channel NewsAsia