Cape Town tap closure is less likely because of conservation

JOHANNESBURG — Authorities in South Africa say "Day Zero," the date when Cape Town would have to turn off most water taps because of a drought, might not happen at all this year because of water conservation efforts.

The Democratic Alliance, the opposition party that runs the city of 4 million, said Wednesday that taps will remain open if residents continue to consume water at current restricted levels and there is adequate winter rainfall, which is expected soon.

Party leader Mmusi Maimane says the city cut its consumption in the last three years by 60 percent to between 510 and 520 million liters (135 million and 137 million gallons) a day.

Officials in the popular tourist destination initially projected "Day Zero" to fall in April, and later delayed it to July 9.

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