Capetown Water Crisis: A Harbinger of the Future? 1st Major City to run out of water
Zeroday for Capetown, South Africa, is projected for 12 April 2018.
That is the day the taps run dry.
When the municipal water supply is zero. In a city of 4.3 million people.
I predict we will see this happen more and more due to climate change, the inability of many of us to accept that reality, and poor planning.
Capetown is the result of several factors: a severe drought from 2015 to the present. The city gets its water from reservoirs formed by 6 major dams in the mountains (much like Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego and many other municipalities around the world).
Water levels are seen at about 24 percent full at Voelvlei Dam, one of the regions largest water catchment dams, near Cape Town, South Africa, November 8, 2017. Picture taken November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Additionally, Capetown’s population has increased 79% since 1995, while the infrastructure to supply water was increased 15%.
The first warnings were sounded almost 30 years in 1990. They were, overall, ignored.
Negotiations for desalination plants bogged down in political wrangling; unlike San Diego which has forged ahead in this area. One thing to keep in mind is that desalination, while yielding potable water, is energy intense.
The current drought began in 2015 and is largely the result of climate change. Rainfall in 2017 was the lowest since 1933.
Public appeals for water consumption have only been partially heeded. Reading reports about this, it seems a large number of people don’t seem overly concerned. I don’t know why that is, since we can only survive three days without water. I think that popular media, especially movies, along with outside responses to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, etc have given rise this assumption among many of us that “someone” will swoop in and solve our problems.
People collect drinking water from pipes fed by an underground spring, in St. James, about 25km from the city centre, on January 19, 2018, in Cape Town.
Once the water runs dry, and IT WILL, the city plans to have 200 water collection points where people can get 6.5 gallons a day per person.
You might think this is a lot. The average American uses 80–100 gallons of water a day.
My wife looked at me last night and said “You were talking about climate change and water when I met you”. Which is a long time ago. I’ve been predicting wars over water like we’ve had over oil this past century, for the next century. This is a case where I wish I wasn’t right.
This is a no bullshit event. It is happening. We all need to take a look around where we live (do an Area Study as I suggest in Prepare Now-Survive Later).
In most survival and emergency situations, water is the #1 priority. Most of us don’t have sufficient water on hand if even a mild emergency interrupts our water supply. We all need at least three days worth. There are ways to make potable water. We also have sources of water we don’t think about. I go into that in detail in Survive Now-Thrive Later.
Below are some facts, techniques, things we all should do etc. in a free slideshow.
Originally published at bobmayer.com on January 27, 2018.