Cape Town drought: City beyond ‘point of no return’ and will run out of water in April, warns mayor
Cape Town drought: City beyond ‘point of no return’ and will run out of water in April, warns mayor The executive mayor of Cape Town has warned citizens and prospective visitors that the city is “very likely” to run out of water in April.
Calls to limit individual consumption to 87 litres per day have, say the authorities, been ignored by three-fifths of the people living in greater Cape Town – which has 3.7 million people.
“Day Zero is the day that almost all of the taps in the city will be turned off and we will have to queue for water,” says the city council.
For tourists as well as locals, coping with the water shortage is becoming a daily struggle.
“A true nightmare scenario is developing before our very eyes.” Jamie Bowden, a long-stay UK visitor to the city, told The Independent: “The water crisis is the only topic of conversation.
Arriving passengers at Cape Town airport are met with a huge banner on the drive out of the airport imploring visitors to shower for just two minutes.
“The tourism infrastructure is working – hotels, bars and restaurants are doing a roaring trade as always.
“There will be water for tourists’ essential daily needs including access to drinking water and for personal hygiene.
Meanwhile a black market in drinking water is taking shape, according to Mr Bowden: ”I went to a warehouse that stocks large plastic water containers and the place is just being stripped every day.
They know the value of stored fresh drinking water will soar in coming weeks and getting thousands of litres of it now for free is likely to be extremely profitable.” From 1 February, the limit per person falls from 87 to 50 litres a day.