Taps set to run dry in drought-hit Cape Town

Fears of chaos as ‘Day Zero’, when piped water is cut off, could come within 3 months CAPE TOWN • It sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster: "Day Zero" is coming to Cape Town this April.
Taps in homes and businesses will be turned off until the rains come.
It is bracing for the effect on public health and social order.
"When Day Zero comes, they’ll have to call in the army," said Mr Phaldie Ranqueste, who was filling his white sport utility vehicle (SUV) with big containers of water at a spring where people waited in a long, anxious line.
It was not supposed to turn out this way for Cape Town.
Cape Town’s problems embody one of the big dangers of climate change: the growing risk of powerful, recurrent droughts.
The following year, C40, a collection of cities focused on climate change worldwide, awarded Cape Town its "adaptation implementation" prize for its water management.
But the city’s water conservation measures – fixing leaks and old pipes, installing meters and adjusting tariffs – had a powerful effect.
For years, Cape Town had been warned that it needed to increase and diversify its water supply.
The dams, which were full only a few years ago, are now down to about 26 per cent of capacity, officials say.

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