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Cape town SA to run dry in April (Original Post) ghostsinthemachine Feb 2018 OP
can they get de-salinization plants going quickly and pipe the water to reservoirs Rene Feb 2018 #1
They have been under water restrictions for several years now Nonhlanhla Feb 2018 #2
Wish I could recomment your post. Very informative. salin Feb 2018 #3


(2,074 posts)
2. They have been under water restrictions for several years now
Wed Feb 7, 2018, 02:25 PM
Feb 2018

I know the area very well and have tons of friends and relatives there. The situation is really dire. They've been restricted in their water use for a long time now, but the faucets will be shut down completely in April. The causes include climate change, several years of drought, increased population, bad planning, and political rivalry between the national ANC government and the provincial DA government.

They are building desalination plants, but those won't be ready for some time. Rain season should start in June, but if the rainfall changes they have been experiencing for the last few years are indeed the result of climate change and not just a natural cycle (it may be a combination), then there is little hope that this year's rain season will bring sufficient relief. In any case, they need several years of good rains to catch up. This in an area that used to get more than sufficient rain for its needs (I grew up in the CT rainfall catch area, so I know).

Meanwhile folks are already standing in line for drinking water, they can only shower every 3 days, and they have to take every possible measure to save water (paper plates, wearing clothing several times before washing, buying hand sanitizer instead of washing hands, etc.). My one friend posted on FB the other day that she stood in line for 45 minutes for 15 liters of water. The previous day they ran out of water while people were still in line. I foresee riots once the faucets are dry and people have to stand in line for hours just to get drinking water.

The only spark of hope I have seen among my friends in recent weeks was a story yesterday about farmers in the Elgin area (about an hour north of CT), who recently had good rains, and who have released water from their private reservoirs to the Steenbras dam, which can provide water to CT. But it is literally a drop in the bucket. (The area is primarily a fruit farming area.)

Please send good thoughts (and prayers, if you are so inclined) to the people of Cape Town. It is the world's most beautiful city (I might be biased!), and home to a bunch of wonderful people. Many of my loved ones live there, and their immediate future is a great concern.

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