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World Water Day: Why Cape Town's future is uncertain

Swapna Mohanty | Updated on: 22 March 2018, 16:46 IST

A report by Centre for Science and Environment state that they have conducted several studies on water and availability of resources and discovered that 36% of the cities across the world will face a water crisis by 2050.

Besides Cape Town which is already heading towards 'Day Zero', there are 10 other cities facing ‘Day Zero’ include Beijing (China), Mexico City (Mexico), Sanaa (Yemen), Nairobi (Kenya), Istanbul (Turkey), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Karachi (Pakistan), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Kabul (Afghanistan).

On World Water Day, let's understand, why the future of Cape Town uncertain.

Water crisis in Cape Town

Cape Town, the coastal city in South Africa situated in the shore of Table Bay, is the first city in the modern times running out of water. It is expected that by April 12, 2018, the continuing water crisis would reach the stage of a full-swing-disaster as the taps and reservoirs supplying the city would run dry.

When Indian Cricket Team was in Cape Town

Curiously enough, the visiting Indian cricket team had a first- hand experience of the crisis looming ahead. The members of the Indian cricket team who were in CT in January for 12-Test Overseas Challenge were asked not spend more than two minutes in a shower and follow other rules that tourists and locals are made to follow. Besides, favourite tourist destinations have signboards and warning boards like ' Don't flush this toilet', 'Our taps will run dry if we don’t act now'.

'Day Zero' in Cape Town

It is expected that on April 12 next the average level of all reservoirs serving the city would fall below 13.5 percent.
The daily water usage has been cut from 87 litres to 50 litres and on 'Zero day' the residents would be left with no water in their homes to drink, wash or bathe.

The government has already restricted the usage of city water in washing vehicles, private swimming pools and gardens.
Looking at the upcoming devastation the Cape Town’s hospitality industry leaders have urged hotels to prefer salt water over freshwater in swimming pools. Restaurants are asked to offer foods which do not require much water for preparation.

First published: 22 March 2018, 16:46 IST