Welcome back to ‘What’s Your Eddy IQ?’
This week we asked: Cape Town is the first major city that’s at risk of running out of water completely – True or False? And the answer is True.
As you may notice on the news recently, Cape Town is suffering through an extreme water crisis. Since then, Day Zero has been postponed until 2019.
For those who may not be familiar with this concept of Day Zero, it is when the dam storage will be as low as 13.5% and the four million of Cape Town residents will be required to collect water at 200 collection sites (Source). Water supply of Capetonian local citizens comes mostly from the Theewaterskloof dam, but the reservoirs are dangerously low now. The water rainfall often runs from May to August, but it has decreased remarkably year after year in Cape Town, below 200 millimeters at Cape Town International Airport in 2017 (Source). It’s currently down to just 10 percent of its capacity. As a result, thousands of people come from miles away as earliest as 5:00 AM to collect water every third week and fill up their water jugs. According to the report, among 25% of Capetonians in township use totally less than 5 percent of the city water (Source).
Cape Town, a coastal city in South Africa, is better known as the ideal travel destination. Despite that, three years of unprecedented drought and massive population growth turns the paradise into a panic.
In terms of conservation, the City officials limit residents’ water use per person to 50 liters or 13 gallons per day (Source). The fixture of all the sinks of public washrooms are removed, and there’s always a sign says that washing hands is prohibited here in Cape Town. The city has also lowered the pressure in the water system, installed larger desalination plans which purify sea water into drinkable water to deliver to taps, and turned waste water into drinking water. Besides, individuals are putting much efforts to save water, for example, not water their lawn, or fill their pool, collect rain water to flush the toilet, use wet wipes to wash their hands, and take short shower.
The United Nation has estimated that due to massive population growth, climate change and human actions, supply for fresh water will not be able to meet the global demand caused by the gap of over 40 percent in 2030. And consequences could be felt in any other countries across the globe, including Canada. In Canada, we think of ourselves as the water wealthy country and have been taking for granted how valuable it is. However, a water crisis happening in Canada is not impossible. We addressed this topic in another blog post, “What’s Your Eddy IQ? Canadians and Wasting Water” (Source). Take a look for reasons why water conservation is critical.
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