As Cape Town’s water crisis nears ‘Day Zero,’ faith groups spring into action

Counsell’s deliberate water display and opening sermon kicked off the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town’s Water (In)Justice Conference on Saturday (Feb. 3).
Makgoba takes issue with the apocalyptic connotations of the name “Day Zero” and suggested parishioners consider “Day One” — his preferred term for the same scenario — as an opportunity for action.
It doesn’t give us hope.
Rachel Mash, environmental coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Green Anglicans, organized the conference, which featured practical water-saving tools and ideas.
Goody bags included dense green plastic blocks participants were advised to drop in their toilet tanks at home to save water.
Winter’s ultimate message: “Keep calm and save water while we have it.” The Rev.
“We have a borehole (water well) at the church, but the police stopped us from using that,” he said.
That requires water.” New water restrictions came into effect Feb. 1, regulating the use of borehole water wells and limiting Cape Town residents to just 50 liters (13.2 gallons) of water per day.
By comparison, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that Americans use 80 to 100 gallons of water each per day.
Beyond individual faith groups’ efforts, several ecumenical and interfaith initiatives have emerged to address the water crisis and “soak the city in prayer.” In May, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille hosted interfaith leaders at the foot of Table Mountain to pray for rain.

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