“Day Zero”?


Matthew Moskowitz, Journalist

For the past three years the South African city of Cape Town has been in a severe drought, so severe that the major city only has about ninety days of water left in their reservoirs. With this news, Cape Town would be the first major city on the planet to (possibly) run out of water. Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille has stated that unless the city’s population of four million begin to cut down on their daily use of water, April 22nd could be the last day of residential access to the municipal water supply.

While the city of Cape Town won’t actually end up going dry, the last 10% of the reservoir water supply is completely unusable, due to the high concentrations of silt and other types of debris. Cape Town’s city officials have also publicly stated that once the water reservoir reaches 13.5%, they will turn off the municipal water supply, except for the “essential services” like hospitals (Aryn Baker). If the town cuts off the municipal water supply, the city’s inhabitants will be forced to go to municipal water points where they can collect up to 6.6 gallons of water each day. In addition, only 54% of Cape Town’s population have made an effort to cut down on how they are using their now-precious water. Besides the fact that Cape Town only has about three months of water left until “Day Zero,” climate change researchers are making predictions that the city will unfortunately be seeing more frequent years filled with drought. This situation kind of resembles a Mad Max environment, but hopefully not for long.