It is a situation when there will be no water in the taps and the use of water will become restricted for vital services only.

Case of Cape Town:

In 2018, the city of 4 million people ran out of municipal water. “Day Zero” was to be the date of the largest drought-

induced municipal water failure in modern history, the result of three consecutive years of anemic rainfall.


Day Zero could be a start towards active water rationing. As far as possible, drinking water will continue to be

supplied to some critical areas. These include strategic commercial areas, high-density areas with significant risk of

increased waterborne disease such as informal settlements, and critical services like hospitals.


Tough water restrictions, plus punitive tariffs, will drive down water demand, helping to postpone Day Zero – or even

leading to it being cancelled. Reduced demand is one way of postponing Day Zero. But there are other factors too.


Day Zero is a vital concept that is helping to strengthen the city’s ability in managing the water crisis.