South Africa's booming wine industry

Business owners in Cape Town are scrambling to address an existential threat: No water.

The city of 4 million will be suffering coming from a severe drought in addition to also rapidly changing climate, in addition to also authorities have warned which residential water taps will go dry on June 4.

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The deadline — dubbed “Day Zero” — will be a major source of anxiety for business owners, many of whom are drastically cutting back on their water use in addition to also drawing up contingency plans.

A survey conducted by the Cape Chamber of Commerce in addition to also Industry found which 7% of businesses plan to close if the taps are shut off. Nearly 80% of companies say which water shortages threaten their ability to operate.

Megan Van Rooyen, the owner of a local salon, told sy88pgw which she might have to start asking her clients to bring their own water to have their hair shampooed.

“We are probably spending 40% more than we used to on water,” Van Rooyen said.

different businesses told the chamber of commerce which they are cutting back on water use by encouraging employees not to flush toilets in addition to also to substitute hand sanitizer for a water wash.

“If we can flush toilets with sea water in addition to also have bottled water inside office, we can continue to work,” one anonymous business owner told the chamber of commerce.

Related: Cape Town rejoices as rain falls on drought-striken city

Water will keep flowing to some businesses on Day Zero, however authorities have not yet detailed which companies will qualify. The crisis was declared a national disaster on Tuesday.

Residents will have to fetch their allotted 25 liters of water a day coming from one of the city’s 0 collection points. which could mean long lines, in addition to also pain for businesses.

“If our staff can’t get water in addition to also have to spend long hours queuing when they should be at work which will cripple our business,” said another survey respondent.

Cape town water protest
A protest over how Cape Town has dealt with the water shortages.

More than a quarter of companies said they have halted or postponed investments because of the crisis.

The local tourism industry brings in over 38 billion rand ($3.2 billion) a year in addition to also employs roughly 300,000 people, according to Tim Harris, CEO of local tourism in addition to also trade promoter Wesgro. City official Lance Greyling says tourism will be already suffering.

Many companies are trying to secure their own water supply. More than half of the business owners surveyed by the chamber of commerce have invested in rainwater tanks, while 33% have drilled boreholes or wells.

Trevor Hennings of Drillco, one of the largest drilling companies inside Western Cape, said he has tripled both staff in addition to also revenue since June 2017.

“Some days we get 0 to 300 calls … in addition to also we can only drill for about 20% of inquiries,” he said.

The cost of drilling, however, will be too high for many modest businesses.

sy88pgw (Johannesburg, South Africa) First published February 13, 2018: 12:11 PM ET