Cape Town will run out of water in less than 80 days

Cape Town will run out of water in less than 80 days

CAPE TOWN — It’s hard to believe that a major international city can ever run out of water, but it’s true – and it’s going to happen in Cape Town, South Africa on April 12.

Locals are calling the day ‘Day Zero’, when taps will run dry following the worst drought in over 100 years. The situation is so dire, in fact, that Day Zero was initially set for April 22; earlier this week, officials bumped up the date by 10 days.

Residents are being urged to recycle bath water to flush toilets, limiting showers to 90 seconds, and using hand sanitizer to wash hands. However, according to the mayor’s office, the majority of people “do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero.”

In response, local authorities are taking matters into their own hands by enforcing water restrictions, effective Feb. 1. Residents will only be allowed to use 50 litres of water per person, per day, down from the current 87 litres per day.

In an official statement, South African tourism said: “To counter the short-term effects of the drought, the city has put in place a number of initiatives to increase the supply of water and make provision for water shortages for locals and visitors. There will be water for tourists’ essential daily needs including access to drinking water and for personal hygiene. At present, tourists will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene. Some swimming pools at hotels have been converted to salt (ocean) water.”

The water shortage is leading many residents to stock up on drinking water at local springs. CNN reports that water levels at dams have dropped 1.4% in the last week.

On Twitter, the hashtag #CapeTownwatercrisis has been trending, with many users posting photos and videos related to the shortage. One of the most shocking videos was posted by Alistair Coy on Jan. 24, which shows Cape Town’s largest dam, Theewaterskloof, looking completely barren.

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