Cape Town, a South African city, is facing the fear of “Day Zero”. The town’s main water supply at the Theewaterskeef dam is running dry, forcing the city into thinking of a more proper way for citizens to satisfy their basic human needs from showering to even drinking water.
It is expected that by late Spring, around mid-April, the city might have to turn off its taps, that are providing water for 4 million people, making it the first major city to run out of water.
Imagine standing in line surrounded by guards waiting to fill your container with litres of water to satisfy your basic needs. Imagine not being able to fill your container at all.
This crisis is caused by two major factors; the population growth and the drought that stroke the city. During the past three years, there was a very little amount of rainfall on the city. The rain contributed a lot to the water level in the reservoir of the Theewaterskeef dam, the main water supply.
Running out of water does not only affect domestic needs, but it also affects businesses that will be forced to shutdown.
The main fear is preventing anarchy that might be caused from the panic of citizens, in order to be able to provide water equally for everyone. But of course, people that have enough money are already seeking solutions for this problem by drilling into the ground in hope to reach aquifers.
The government is also trying out for alternatives whether through desalination, turning saltwater into freshwater, of the Atlantic ocean water or through drilling for aquifers as well.
Officials say that the crisis is inevitable and the solutions at hand to conserve the usage of water is to only increase the period before reaching Day Zero.
The crisis of running out of water never happens over night, in fact, over the past decade citizens have been warned to consume less water but these instructions were ignored.
Studies suggest that countries from Iran over to Somalia are at great risk of running out of water, and facing the same crisis to that of Cape Town’s.
Will we ever listen? Will we ever learn from this or would our city be next to run out of water? We must learn that the climate change, and our consumption as well as the population growth will inevitably cause our city to face drought if we do not act now.