As reservoirs run dry, Cape Town races to improve its climate resilience
Cape Town, South Africa is currently facing a looming water crisis that has potential to make it the first major city to shut off its municipal water supply. According to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, taps across the city are expected to run dry on April 22 – less than 90 days away. This date has come to be known as “Day Zero”. The factor determining when exactly Day Zero occurs is the combined capacity of the dams servicing the Western Cape Province. Once the capacity has fallen below 13.5%, “…municipal water supply will be turned off for all but essential services, like hospitals,” Time Magazine reports. Even though 13.5% of the dams’ water capacity may remain, the last 10% of water in a dam is “unusable” due to silt and debris; therefore, essential services would be relying on what amounts to just 3.5% of combined dam capacity.