Droughts May Force Cape Town to Shut Public Water Supply

Buddhist leaders offer a prayer for rain at the foot of Table Mountain, on May 25, 2017, in Cape Town. The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, has called on religious leaders from various churches, the Muslim Judicial Council, the Western Cape Christian Ministers Association, the Western Cape Traditional Leaders and Cultural Council, the Khoisan Griqua Royal House, the Bahaí Community of South Africa, the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre, and the Hindu and Jewish communities, to come together to pray for rain in the drought-stricken province, where stock of water in the area's dams have only about 10 percent of usable water left. Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

After more than three years of continual droughts, Cape Town's water supply may soon completely run out, making it the first city in the world to experience this. And the day that this could happen is not in the distant future, but rather a few months away.

"There are 95 days left before we reach Day Zero," the City of Cape Town announced in a statement. Previously, Day Zero was projected for April 22, but this week it got bumped back by a day to April 21, 2018.

Related: Is the U.S. Heading for a Giant Drought? Climate History Offers Vital Clues About the Next Century

The #Capewatercrisis continues, this is the latest photos of Theewaterskloof dam, its scary to see how barren it is, where there was once water is now dust and sand. #CapeDrought #87litres Hopefully winter 2018 comes to the party. pic.twitter.com/BW1boRfX8z

— Alex de Kock (@Alex_CPT) December 26, 2017

Once that date hits, "the City will be forced to turn off most of the taps and every resident will have to queue for 25 litres of water per day," city officials said.

The only way to avoid the complete loss of water is if residents cut back on how much they're using each day and if the government follows through with various projects, including recycling wastewater and using aquifers to extract groundwater.

Related: Muslims and Jews at War in Syria and Israel Both Pray for Rain as Drought Hits Middle East

Although the government is taking its own actions, the city's Executive Mayor urged residents to take action too.

'We have reached the point of no return.' South Africa's Cape Town is very close to running out of water. https://t.co/z2rIeR1tOC

— AP Africa (@AP_Africa) January 18, 2018

"It is important that all residents must continue to save water, despite the City's work to secure new water sources," Mayor Patricia de Lille tweeted. "I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 litres per day."

"The City of Cape Town is working around the clock to bring new water supplies online but we need the buy in from all residents," she added.

Due to the severity of the situation, asking isn't even enough at this point, "we must force them," to stop using water, de Lille said, according to The Washington Post.

[GRAPHIC] What does Cape Town's level 6 water restrictions mean?
Checkout what residents are prohibited from doing with the city's municipal water:#CTWaterCrises pic.twitter.com/YJ6KfmV9ot

— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) January 18, 2018

The deep crisis has led the city to put level 6 water restrictions into place, meaning residents cannot hose down paved surfaces with municipal water; wash vehicles with municipal water; use portable play pools; or use borehole water for outdoor purposes, among many other restrictions.

Any individual who doesn't adhere to the restrictions will be fined.

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