Dinner Table Conversation: What Happens When a City Runs out of Water?

February 9, 2018

Day Zero isn’t a day to celebrate the number zero, although residents in Cape Town, South Africa, wish it were. Instead, it’s the day when there will be no water coming through their taps. Right now, town officials expect the day to be May 11th, 2018.

How is it even possible to have no water in such a huge city? Well, Cape Town has seen a severe drought the past few years. In fact, the two driest years in the country’s history were 2015 and 2017. City officials have not just been sitting around waiting for the day to strike though; they started building water purifying systems to recycle water, and they’ve been encouraging residents and farmers to reduce water consumption. Even so, there still won’t be enough water to last past May. When Day Zero does arrive, the taps will run dry, and each home will be allocated just under seven gallons of water, to be collected from central locations.

We sure hope the long-awaited rains give Cape Town the relief it needs!

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