Published on Oct 24, 2017
What happens when a city runs out of municipal water? Models are clear on the severity: the tanking of the economy, the destruction of sewerage infrastructure, outbreaks of violence, the spreading of disease. As Day Zero threatens to approach the City of Cape Town, public consumption isn’t the only problem. Administrators both local and national are staring down a humanitarian crisis.
Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, African penguins, sunshine and sea, is a world-renowned tourist destination. But it could also become famous for being the first major city in the world to run out of water.
Most recent projections suggest that its water could run out as early as March. The crisis has been caused by three years of very low rainfall, coupled with increasing consumption by a growing population.
The local government is racing to address the situation, with desalination plants to make sea water drinkable, groundwater collection projects, and water recycling programmes.
Meanwhile Cape Town’s four million residents are being urged to conserve water and use no more than 87 litres (19 gallons) a day. Car washing and filling up swimming pools has been banned. And the visiting Indian cricket team were told to limit their post-match showers to two minutes.
Published on Nov 1, 2017
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Published on Jan 14, 2018
The people of Cape Town, South Africa are experiencing the worst drought in over a Century. And now, they are bracing themselves for the dreaded day known as Day Zero. The day around four months from now is when experts predict the City’s taps could run dry. Authorities have implemented Level Six water restrictions as of the first of January, which limits every person to the use of no more than 87-liters of water per day and less than 10,500 litres of water a month, per average household.
Published on Mar 21, 2013
APS March Meeting 2013 Session R0: Kavli Foundation Special Session: Forefront Physics for Real World Problems: Energy, Climate, and the Environment
National Academy of Sciences
Published on Jun 1, 2015
NAS member Richard Alley presents on 4.6 Billion Years of Earth’s Climate History: The Role of CO2, during the Symposium—Earths, Moons, Mars & Stars at the National Academy of Sciences 152nd Annual Meeting.
Published on Jan 14, 2018
The South African city of Cape Town is set to run out of water in just over three months. As dam levels drop, residents have been battling with water restrictions for months. And the pressure is on to find alternative sources. Water experts and geologists are hoping to tap into the city’s aquifers — permeable rock that stores groundwater as Rene Del Carme reports.