Waterwise Wednesday: Some Good News

Thanks to extreme conservation efforts, a dose of heavy rains, and continued adherence to water restrictions, Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019.

Day Zero loomed ominously over Cape Town, South Africa, when all water taps to the would be shut off for 3.74 million residents due to three years of drought, population expansion, and insufficient planning.

Residents still limit themselves to 50 litres (13 gallons) of water each day, complete entire showers in 60 seconds, flush their toilets only once a day, and minimize dish washing and laundry all on reduced water pressure. In the process, Cape Town has become an international role model for urban water conservation.

Waterwise Wednesday: The Final Countdown

“I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 litres (23 gallons) per day.” – Patricia de Lille, Mayor, Capetown, South Africa

Three consecutive years of drought have brought Capetown, South Africa to the end of it’s water supply. All taps serving the city’s 3.74 million residents will be shut off April 21 – “Day Zero” – when the water is gone. Should the taps be turned off, each resident will be allocated 6.5 gallons of drinking water per day shipped from neighboring provinces.

The average U.S. resident uses 100 gallons per day – 4 times the current recommended use for Capetonians. How much more could we conserve?

Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images, FILE

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