In less than 3 months, Cape Town will likely run out of water

Cape Town is South Africa’s second-largest city and a top international tourist draw.
This major city is running out of water. City officials have recently stated that domestic supply runs dry on April 12.

How does a major city in the developed world just run dry?

It’s been a long drawn out crisis, exacerbated by the worst drought in more than a century, which has pushed Cape Town’s water scarcity into a potentially deadly horizon.

Couple that with the changing metropolitan area’s population, which is 4 million and growing quickly.

Even with the predicament they find themselves in, residents haven’t dropped their water use significantly, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said.

The city has lowered the water pressure in its mains to help stretch the water supply. But usage is still 86 million liters above its target goal.

“It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero,” a statement from the mayor’s office said. “We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water. We must force them.”

Starting February 1, residents will only be allowed to use 50 liters, or a little over 13 gallons, of water per person, per day

Residents will need to play their part by managing consumption on a daily basis by:

  • recycling bath water to help flush toilets.
  • limit showers to 90 seconds. Use of hand sanitiser is now a big seller.
  • People will collect water from pipes fed by an underground spring in St. James, a Cape Town suburb.

Water security and asset management planning aligned to security objectives must form a component of the strategic asset management plans.


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