CAPE TOWN, The government of drought-hit Cape Town says plans of potentially partnering with the private sector to create a short-term emergency water supply using desalination, storm water capture or aquifer extraction are progressing well.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee in charge of Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Xanthea Limberg, says Monday was the closing date for responses to a Request for Information issued to the private sector by the City government to see how partnerships can help with short-term emergency supply schemes.

All submissions will be analysed from this week onwards. More information on the submissions received and the future processes will be made available at the appropriate time, Limberg said here Tuesday.

She added that this was part of the city's ongoing pro-active drought management interventions, along with increasing the large-scale pressure reduction programmes across Cape Town to force down consumption of water as the country's second most populous city -- and other parts of Western Cape Province -- grapples with a drought which has lasted for two years.

Other emergency and high-user interventions are underway, said Limberg, who warned that the recent rains had made little difference and urged water users to keep saving water.

According to Limberg, the city's dam storage levels are currently at 25.4 per cent but the level of useable water is only at approximately 15.4 per cent, which is very low for this time of the year.

Collective water usage is 619 million litres per day. This is 119 million litres above the new target of 500 million litres of collective water usage under (the current) Level 4b water restrictions, Limberg said.

She also noted that since June 6, 2017, when dam storage levels were at 19.4 per cent, the city's dam storage levels had only increased by 6.0 per cent. The city requires all water users to use less than 87 litres of water per person per day in total, irrespective of whether they are at home, at work or elsewhere.

We encourage friends, neighbours, families and colleagues to join efforts and to see how they can brainstorm new ways of saving water to bring water usage down even further to below 87 litres of water in total per person per day, wherever they are. Peer-monitoring could also be a good way to keep motivation levels high, Limberg said.