I have reading about the water woes of one of the richest cities in Africa and it at times an interesting but also very frightening read. Actually the cause is attributed to as much as nature but mostly it is human made. For the last three years, Cape Town has been receiving much less rain resulting in drought like condition. Their reservoirs have been down so low that the local government has given a name for when the water will shut down it is called “Day Zero”. This is the day when the water will no longer be provided to people and only essential services will get water. Right now with increasing monitoring, they are reducing the amount of water being provided through selective water pumps. People are brushing and washing and whatever they are using water it gets recycled to flush and given to lawns. Water is being transported from other less drought areas and now they are moving fast with desalination plants and other measures which will take time to materialize.
But despite the efforts, the rainy season which starts from April is all the hope that is being pinned on which is a big if since for the last three years, they have inadequate or no rain at all. These are dire predictions even for one of the richest cities of Africa and it can a showcase for other rich cities where there fight is on to conserve water like in the South and western United States. The water usage in the U.S. is 80 to 100 gallons per person per day which is 5 times what Cape Town citizens are getting right now and it will be reduced further if rains don’t come in the rainy season. I just shudder to think how people will be able to cope with the resultant shutdown of this essential commodity.
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