Crisis in Cape Town
Capetonians are currently restricted to 87 litres of water per day, which will decrease to 50 litres as of February 1st.
Initially, Day Zero was projected to occur on April 21, but this has been moved up to April 12 as less than half of the residents have adhered to the 87 litre per day quota, as proposed by the government, thus leading to the failure of meeting the city-wide consumption goal of 500 million liters of water per day.
In 2009, the Western Cape Water Reconciliation Strategy was published, which outlined the city’s need to implement alternative infrastructure for water accessibility by 2019.
The Berg River Dam has been the primary water supply for residents, and the strategy outlined the expected challenges surrounding the dam as posed by the consequences of a changing climate.
Capetonians were projected to run out of water by 2019, if not sooner.
But these strategies are both timely and costly, leaving Capetonians hoping for rain to mitigate the crisis until further intervention can be implemented.
The city talks about Day Zero yet we are wasting water.” Dr. Robert Stewart, a professor with Lakehead’s Water Resource Science department spoke to The Argus about the crisis.
Dr. Stewart believes that Cape Town is foreshadowing as to what is to come in the future, and can be used as a case study as to how we can respond to future crises as a global community.
He believes the importance of social cohesion in a time of crisis is imperative to a community’s resilience.
The people of Cape Town are being forced to experience a cultural paradigm shift, as they move away from extreme consumption to highly rationed access to an essential resource.