Cape Town Africa Running Out of Water
April 12, 2018
“Zero Day” sounds like a day where the world ends. In Cape Town, South Africa, this day will occur. No, the world isn’t going to end, but it’s the day when the taps run dry. Cape Town is in a serious drought. This has been the worst drought
in more than a century. The prediction for this day was April 12, but recently they have been given a 10 billion-liter donation from private reservoirs. So the day has been pushed back to July 9. Residents hope that in June (the rainy season), it will rain more regularly than it has been in the past years. But they can’t just wait and hope for the best. The people living in Cape Town have cut down on their water usage by a lot, and everyone is trying to come up with ways to
The amount of water keeps decreasing and decreasing. The people of Cape Town are recycling bath water to flush toilets, and they have been told to limit their showers to 90 seconds. Cape town has cut its water consumption to 523 million liters a day, about 139 million gallons. Last year, they limited residents to using 87 liters of water, 23 gallons per person, per day for all uses including baths, showers, drinking, cooking and cleaning. On February 1st it lowered that limit to 50 liters.
Cape Town is the largest city in South Africa, and it’s the 10th most populated city in Africa. Cape Town is known for its harbor and amazing views. Many tourists visit every year, but that number has decreased ever since the drought.
There are about 3.81 million people living in Cape Town in 2018, but some left because of the drought. But the majority of the population can’t afford to leave. So what happens to the city and its people when Day Zero hits? A week before it happens, the city will announce the exact date that which almost all the taps in Cape Town will be cut off. Even surrounding towns that rely on Cape Town’s dams will be affected. The maximum amount of water a person will be able to use daily will change to 25 litres or 6.5 gallons, but they will have to fetch their water at one of the 200 points of distribution that will be around the city.
This water drought splits the wealthy and poor. The wealthy are hiring companies to dig wells, they’re buying tons of water bottles, and ordering machines that make ground water drinkable. For the poor, they’re just waiting to see what the government comes up with.