A City Without Water: Capetown, South Africa

Capetown is running out of water. The 2010 World Cup host does not have enough water for its citizens. Over the past 20 years, population growth has nearly doubled and city planners did not prepare for it. 4 million people will be out of clean water. There is not enough water storage to supply everyone with the water they need.  South Africa has been under a prolonged drought ever since the last rainy season brought zero rain.

 Day Zero has been predicted for April 29th, the day all of Capetown's dams and groundwater will go dry. What is Capetown doing to prepare for this? Once all dams reach 13%, they will be shut down for municipal water supply besides for essential services such as hospitals and schools. The city will be opening up 200 municipal water points where citizens can go to collect water. 4 million people have to go 200 collection points guarded by armed police where they can only collect 6.6 gallons of water a day. This includes water for drinking, washing, and cleaning.  

To conserve water, the city has asked household to limit themselves to 23 gallons of water a day. Only 54% of the citizens are hitting the target while others are consuming more than double and triple that amount. The City is hastily trying to pursue desalination projects (very expensive) and new groundwater opportunities. 

On April 29th, we will see what happens.