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A Quick Rundown of What is Going On in Cape Town

As you’ve probably seen in the news, Cape Town, South Africa is currently on the verge of running out of drinkable water. This story in particular has woken people up to the reality that there are countries experiencing stress over lack of usable resources.

Currently in Cape Town, there is a race to save water in order to push back the dreaded “Day Zero” in April, where water taps will completely run dry for these citizens.

Just recently there has been word that through extreme conservation, Cape Town has cut its water consumption enough to push back Day Zero until July. If these efforts continue, they will be able to push back the deadline even further. The goal for Cape Town would be to keep moving this day until the winter rains come, which would thus supply them with more water.

According to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental studies, “A simple (and perhaps simplistic) answer to the cause of the current crisis is that rainfall was well below average for three years in a row, that no one could have or did predict that, and thus serious action to reduce water consumption — which should have begun in 2016 — came too late.”

Especially in developed countries, we indulge and use resources far past the means necessary. As stated by National Geographic, “The population of human beings has grown enormously in the past two centuries. Billions of people use up resources quickly as they eat food, build houses, produce goods, and burn fuel for transportation and electricity. The continuation of life as we know it depends on the careful use of natural resources.” Although water is a renewable resource and the whole world will not simply run dry like fossil fuels eventually will, awareness is important due to the fact that fresh, clean, drinkable water is limited, as we can see in drying climates such as Cape Town.


Bec E

Minnesota '21

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