Cape Town Drought


The drought in Cape Town, South Africa is one of the world’s most pressing issues currently. The residents of Cape Town are quickly approaching a day where the city is officially out of water. Locals of the city are receiving approximately 25 gallons per day from the city, but soon will only be receiving just 13 gallons. These numbers are standards set by the World Health Organization for emergency situations. As the citizens continue to rush towards the ‘Zero Day’ they are beginning to prepare for just 6.5 gallons of water per person, per day. To make matters even worse, according to the Mayor of the city, over 60 percent of the citizens are remaining to abuse their daily water amount.

This photo shows citizens waiting in line to receive their allotted water for the day. The reservoirs are filled with rain water, but the town is experiencing its worst drought in a hundred years. Just two years ago, these reservoirs were at amazing levels, at nearly 80% full. However, today they sit at just over 15 % full. The levels of these reservoirs drop every day that it continues to refuse to rain. The rising population of the city is another concern for Cape Town. Over the past ten to fifteen years the city’s population has increased 33%, from roughly two million inhabitants to three million today. This increase in population is causing even more issues for the city’s officials. As the mayor said, too many of her citizens are using too much water every day. As the number of people that inhabit the city increase, the problem of the abuse of water usage gets worse and worse. Cape Town has actually been awarded for their efforts to combat this issue in recent times. In 2014 Cape Town was awarded the adaptation implementation at the C40 awards. The C40 is a group of cities attempting to combat climate change internationally. Cape Town received this award for its extensive efforts to make water more available to its citizens. However, their award-winning efforts have not been enough to withstand a drought of this magnitude. Another factor in this wicked problem is the African government. Despite this being a growing issue for months in the second largest city of South Africa, the African National Congress has been slow to respond. The city of Cape Town has only received $1.5 million to help find some solutions, and they only received this money in August of 2017.

                 I chose this article because of the interesting relationship between two of the biggest focuses of our class so far. The population growth of Cape Town has presented a serious issue for the city. The relationship of the growing population, and the humans effect on what is occurring is evident. Humans are being too wasteful of their resources, and the number of humans continues to increase. The city only has about two months of water left, so this is something that should continue to be in focus of the media in the weeks to come. If you are interested in reading more about this, follow this link: