‘Day Zero’ Approaches in South African Drought

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‘Day Zero’ Approaches in South African Drought

Isabel Vigale, Senior News Reporter

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NEWSROOM – “Day Zero” is approaching the city of Cape Town, South Africa as the drought continues to leave citizens with minimal water supply.  

According to CNN Travel, “Day Zero” is “the moment when all municipal water is turned off.”  This date is currently June 4th for Cape Town, which was pushed back from its original date in April.  

On Day Zero, citizens will be limited to 50 liters of water a day.  To put the crisis in perspective, the average American uses about 380 liters.  Once Day Zero is announced, no tourists will be allowed to travel to Cape Town if not necessary to preserve as much water as possible used by hotels and other facilities in the city.

Aryn Baker, writer for Time Magazine and their Africa correspondent, describes that 50 liters, or 13 gallons, of water is equivalent to “a 90-second shower, a half-gallon of drinking water, a sinkful to hand-wash dishes or laundry, one cooked meal, two hand washings, two teeth brushings, and one toilet flush.”

BBC News states that Cape Town now has less than 550 million liters of water available, compared to the over one billion liters it possessed two years prior to the drought.  

The country of South Africa has officially announced this water crisis to be a national disaster, and the government is taking steps in an effort to preserve the little water left.

Anthony Turner, water expert, told CNN that within weeks after Day Zero begins, the city of Cape Town will turn “medieval,” but hopefully the winter season will bring rain before Day Zero occurs.

Time Magazine acknowledges this national disaster coming from a three-year drought that lacked proper planning and “crisis management” that all led up to the urgent state Cape Town is in currently.  

With decreasing dam levels and all possible water conservation methods being put into play, the citizens and government of Cape Town are trying to push back Day Zero as far as possible and are hoping for rain.  

Story by Isabel Vigale, Senior News Reporter

Edited by Maeve Sebold, Editor in Chief

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