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April 16 – DAY ZERO

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Cape Town is a coastal city in south Africa. It is the most popular Urban city in south africa. It’s Geographical extent are 33°55′31″S – 18°25′26″E . It has a warm Mediterranean climate. This city has more than 4 million population. As already said the Cape Town region experiences a warm Mediterranean climate. Water is supplied largely from the six major dams of the Western Cape. The dams are recharged by rain falling in their catchment areas, largely during the cooler winter months of May to August. Since 1995, Cape Town’s population has grown from 2.4 million to above 4.3 million by 2018, representing a 79 percent population increase in 23 years but on the same time the water storage in dam was increased only by 15 percent in the same period.  The water crisis began after Cape Town experienced an unseasonably dry winter in 2015 and it also caused severe Drought. The lack of rainfall that year caused decrease of water levels in the city’s dams by 20 percent.

With the city’s feeder dams sitting at just 27.2% of capacity, there are fewer than 80 day’s till the water runs out. Then Western Cape’s Six dams fall below 13.5 per cent capacity. When the water falls beneath the 10 per cent line it is no longer drinkable. If this happens, Cape Town will be the first major city to run out of water. The average water use in Cape Town, a city of about four million people, was below 550 million litres. Two years ago, it was at more than a billion litres per day. Last week the daily allowance for the city’s four million residents was slashed from 87 liters to 50 liters. Tourists visiting Cape Town have been told to limit showers to 90 seconds, flush the toilet as little as possible, and swim in the sea rather than pools, as the city experiences its worst drought in over a century. DAY ZERO is calculating every week based on current reservoir capacity and daily consumption.

In mid-January 2018, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced that the city will be forced to shut off most of the municipal water supply if conditions do not change, naming 22 April 2018 as “Day Zero”, shortly afterwards revising Day Zero forward to 12 April, moving it back to 16 April, then back again to July 15. Day Zero will be declared when the water level of the city’s major dams reaches 13.5%. When this occurs, municipal water supplies will be largely switched off. By January,2018 the agricultural sector had loss of (US$1.17 billion) due to the water shortage.  Future Indian cities to face day Zero are Bengaluru, Hyderabad,  Chennai, Vijayawada, Solapur.

 

Article: Lokesh

 

 

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