cape town wateress

A Small Win but Huge Relief

Day Zero Horror 


The Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, predicted in October 2017 that the city would run out of water by the following March - Day Zero. Since then, the date has been shifted from April 21st, to May 11th, to July 9th. August 27th was another potential Day Zero. With strict water conserving methods put into place since October 2017 and those yielding satisfactory results, the city has possibly dodged the 'Day Zero' bullet in 2018. A small victory but definitely a huge relief to Capetonians!  

However, the city continues to be on the edge, with likelihood of the disastrous day actually happening sometime in 2019 unless it is averted by benevolent rain gods this coming winter. 


To read more on, click here.

Cape Town Headed Towards Waterless Future

by Lucas Joel

The city of Cape Town, South Africa, is bone dry. In 2017, after two straight years of drought, a third drought year offered more of the same. This past January, city leaders announced that they would shut off the taps to the municipal water supply in April because that was when “Day Zero” — the day when the water supply would run dry — was predicted to occur. Day Zero has since been pushed back to sometime in 2019, but, for 4 million Capetonians, living under the specter of a day without water is the new normal, and signs of that reality litter the city. Sometimes literally.


Above a toilet in the bathroom at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Future Water Institute (FWI), I found a sign that looked like a board game. “TO AVOID DAY ZERO,” the sign announced in all capital letters. “BE A WEE-WISE WATER WARRIOR! ONLY FLUSH AFTER 4 (No. 1’s only).” In the middle of a pie chart was a plastic arrow that restroom visitors are meant to advance through numbered slices marked one through four — to track the appropriate number of uses..

“It’s raised a lot of issues with our cleaning staff,” says Jessica Fell, a hydrologist at the FWI. “We’ve given them chemicals that they can spray into the toilet bowl, which completely neutralize the smell.”

... To read more on, click here!