Cape Town about to run out of water

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The coming dark age: Cape Town in South Africa will run out of water on April 16 if it does not rain soon.

Officials estimate that if water levels continue to fall as expected, South Africa’s second most populous city will run out of water by April 16, which has been dubbed “Day Zero.” Experts are keeping a close eye on daily consumption in a desperate bid to avoid the disaster, warning residents tempted to ignore measures that they face fines and the installation of water-management meters if they do not comply.

It may seem unthinkable that a developed city of four million could run out of water but it’s been a slow-burning catastrophe exacerbated by some uncontrollable factors. Cape Town been enduring the worst drought in a century for the past three years. A changing climate and rapidly growing population have made matters worse. And as the crisis has taken hold, Capetonians have not been doing enough to curb their water use, further aggravating the scarcity. Only an estimated 55% of the city’s residents are actually sticking to their allotted water per day, according to last week’s figures issued by authorities.

The city is now working to upgrade its water systems — rushing to build desalination, aquifer and water-recycling projects — and help stretch the current supply, but officials say residents need to step up, too. [emphasis mine]

It is interesting to me that this CNN article seems to downplay the South African government’s lack of planning while instead focusing on the failure of residents to ration themselves. The real scoop here however is this: “Why did the government let this situation get to this point?” Such incompetence should have been the highlight of the article, and in the past would have been. Now, the journalists at CNN feel obliged instead to make excuses for them.



  • geoffc

    But water is a human right, defined in their Constitution that RBG so promotes. This is unpossible!

  • Ignoramous

    I am sure that CNN and others are already preparing the documentaries blaming this on climate change. Just like they did for hurricane Katrina, they will focus their cameras on kitchen taps with no water dripping out (and probably ignoring the case of bottled water just off-camera). They will present this as solid concrete proof of the future of American cities, just around the corner, due to the evil policies of the USA.

    Remember back in the 1970s when Pournelle was writing about towing icebergs in to supply fresh water? I’ll bet Musk would do it if he was asked, but they would probably require him to surrender his pelt as payment.

  • Ted

    Could Reverse Osmosis aboard various naval vessels help out in this situation? I am not sure of the capacity of these units but I know aircraft carriers have pretty high capacity. Could the various allies of SA help out here?

    Also, I agree with Mr. Z this is a “close the barn door after the cows escape” situation. Should have been corrected years ago.

    Anyway just a thought or two..

  • Dick Eagleson

    One of the core principles underlying the politically correct reportage of mainstream media outlets is that nothing bad that happens to black people is ever their fault.

  • Chris

    If you also listen to John Batchelor while Gregory Copley is on, he has mentioned many times that China is also going to running out of fresh water – very soon. Per Gregory they have mismanaged and poisoned the water they have.
    It will be interesting to see how these countries “solve” their water problems.

  • wayne

    Last I heard SA was a Marxist Utopia.
    -They can drink their platinum & diamonds for all I care. (the boot is on the other foot comrade, it’s time we kick them with it.)

    We have plenty of tasty fresh-water in Michigan, and it can’t be diverted or sold to anyone.

    “The Great Lakes’ main source of legal protection comes from the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement between eight Great Lakes states that was further approved by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. The compact also includes Canada’s two Provinces on the lakes, Ontario and Quebec, and its terms cannot be changed without the approval of all compact member State and Provincial governments.”

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