Droughts have hit the city of Cape Town in South Africa for already three years. This triggered the dwindling of water levels in dams and may lead to water shortage in the coming months. It is reported that Cape Town could be the first major city in the world that may soon run out of the water.
The water levels in major dams in the Western Cape province have conceded to 28.7 percent of capacity. Last year, it was 43 percent of capacity and 93 percent in 2014. This affected the water distribution in South African’s second-largest metropolis.
Mayor Patricia de Lille is declaring that the city is almost at the “point of no return.” She is urging and forcing the people to stop wasting water. The local residents will be given a strict ration of 50 liters of water each day per person starting on February 1. The regulations also include banning on watering of lawns and gardens, filling pools or washing cars. The people are also told to shower rather than bathe in under two minutes, according to CBC.
Moreover, the authorities said that “Day Zero,” which is the date when they will have to cut off water supplies to consumers, could be on April 21, 2018. They further said once that date hits, the city will be forced to turn off most of the taps and the each local will have only 25 liters of water each day, as noted by Newsweek.
One remedy to prevent the complete loss of water is to cut back the water usage of each resident. This also includes government projects such as recycling wastewater and using aquifers to extract groundwater.
Mayor de Lille is reminding the people always to save water and to use less than 87 liters each day. She added that the city of Cape Town is working around the clock to bring new water supplies online, but they need the buy-in from all residents.
Cape Town is one of the most popular major tourist destinations in South Africa. It is the capital city of Western Cape province. It is rich in biodiversity and a home of about 2,200 species of plants. Some of these species could not be found anywhere in the world. However, because of the rapid population growth and urban sprawl, its ecosystems have been affected. It has more than 300 threatened plant species now and 13 that are extinct.