Countdown to Zero: no water and no hope – but are there options?
Day Zero, when Cape Town, South Africa will run out of water, is fast approaching, and could come as soon as three months. Bottled water is already hard to come by, and dry pipes and forced rationing are imminent.
The challenges facing Cape Town offer three main lessons for water planners, writes David Feldman, director of Water UCI and professor of planning, policy and design: governments must plan ahead of time, solutions cost money and public trust is crucial.
“For Cape Town today – and other cities in the future – implementing options to ensure long-term water supply resilience will remain a complex challenge given varied water needs, climates, and political and legal constraints,” Feldman writes.