Issue Brief on “Water Crisis in Cape Town: Bracing for ‘Day Zero'”


Cape Town in South Africa is currently facing worst ever drought in its history. Citizens have been asked to save water as much as possible by avoiding unnecessary usage (staying within the average 50 liter usage, saving up to 45%).[1] In order to provide for basic drinking water, city administration is building new desalination plants that will turn sea water into drinking water. South Africa has also revised their budget, setting new funds and undertaken tough decisions with regards to managing the current water crises and avoid ‘Day Zero’ when all taps of water in the city will be turned off. However, South Africa’s drought-stricken Cape Town has pushed back its estimate for “Day Zero”, when taps in the city run dry and people start queuing for water, to 2019 from August of 2018, even as data show dam levels rising elsewhere in the country.[2] On this day, citizens in Cape Town will have to cue at identified sites for the daily allocation of drinking water, and the government will regulate the water supply under proper plans, equipment and security.

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