Imagine having to walk through town each day to fill up containers with water just so you have water for drinking and cooking.
For many residents in Cape Town, South Africa, this has become a reality for them as the city faces an extreme water crisis and the reality that Day Zero—when their water taps will run dry—is an all too real prospect.
The city of more than 4 million people has struggled with its water supply for years. However, a lack of sufficient rain the last few years led the city to IMPLEMENT water restrictions for residents to try and avoid running out of water.
Day Zero was initially predicted to occur this year. Fortunately, due to a bit of rain and strict water consumption regulations, the Day Zero prediction has been pushed back to 2019.
Cape Town residents have been limited to 50 liters, or about 13 gallons, of water per person per day. Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to keep showers to less than 90 seconds. Restaurants and bars have shut off sink taps and posted signs to limit flushing toilets.
Residents who don’t adhere to the water restrictions are issued warnings or fines. The city has also been acknowledging residential properties with low water usage by keeping a water map identifying these homes with green dots.
The reality is that while Cape Town is the first major city dealing with such an extreme crisis, they will almost certainly not be the last.
In February, the federal government calculated that two-thirds of our beautiful state is currently facing severe to extreme drought. Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the United States with a population of more than 1.6 million people. Phoenix’s water supply comes from groundwater, small rivers to the east, and the Colorado River. These sources are depleted and no one can control future rainfall and snow—what we all can control is our usage of this essential resource, especially as our state continues