Running On Dry: Cape Town the City Out of Water

by: Libby Bornhorst 21′

Cape Town, one of South Africas largest cities is running out of water. In todays day and age it seems impossible for a major city to have to get there water from a supplier but this is a sad reality for residence in Cape Town, so how did it happen?

A number of factors added to the how of this crisis. Cape Town gets most of its water from the dams that fill up with rain water but the city has been going through a drought so sever, that they only see ones like it every 200 years. Global warming also has a play in it. Even with the drought, the dams would eventually get run down water from the mountains but that still has not happened.

The growing population has also effected how much water the city needs. Back in 2007 when the population spiked, local officials warned that by 2015 Cape Town would need to find new water sources. The city only delayed the problem by fixing small issues to make the dams pressure better. This helped for a little while but with the climate and population growing, the problem continued.

The city has since put limits on the amount of water that each residence can use, as Cape Town residence Darryn Ten says after an interview with CNN “Unwashed hair is now a sign of social responsibility”

Right now the day were the town will officialy shut off taps will be April 12 but it has already been moved up twice. The city has lowered the water pressure but some people still don’t seem to care and continue to use water freely. One question that seems to continually be asked is what the next steps are. You can’t have a city thats constantly on water restrictions but theirs still no water left. Piotr Wolski is a climate and hydrology has a lot to say on why the water sources didn’t work in an interview with Futurism.

“Water supply system hasn’t been improved very much: it hasn’t been made ready for a drier climate, so to speak, and essentially there was no incentive”

Right now attempt are being made to chart the climate so the city will be better prepared for droughts like this. They use climate models and factor in different thing like precipitation and air pressure. this will show if there is any changes from previous years letting us better prepare for differing climates.

“If climate change is a big driver of the risk, then you have to use climate model simulations of the present day and the future to base your infrastructure planning on, and your water management” (Friederike Otto, Futurism)

Finding a new water source throughout either ground water or temporary desalination plants to supplement surface water. The desalination plant is already on way and will produce almost 7 million liters of water a day by March.

Cape Town needs all the help it can get. Click Here to Donate water and other nessectites to people effected by this drought and keep them in your prayers. This event will hopefully open the gates to topics about climate change and how to prevent this from happening elsewhere.



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