Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

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Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby Braininvat on January 22nd, 2018, 6:51 pm 

http://beta.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-south-africa-water-crisis-20180119-story.html

Cape Town, South Africa's second-largest city, is facing its worst drought in a century, with its water supply expected to run dry April 21.
They're calling it "Day Zero." In this city of 4 million, people will have to line up in the streets at just 200 water stations. The police and army will enforce a limit of 6.6 gallons per person and adopt measures to control crowds. Some experts believe evacuations will be necessary.
If the city runs out of water, it will be the first major city in a developed country to do so.
But a number of details of the crisis plan remain unclear. How would one person carry 26 gallons of water for a family of four? How would the elderly and disabled cope? What about the fact that officials expect there will be insufficient water to flush the city's toilets?
"A lot of the logistics are not known, and that's worrying and it's causing a lot of alarm. We just never get any answers, which tells us there is no plan," said resident Brigetti Lim Banda, who started a Facebook page on the water crisis. "We are at the point where it's impossible to avoid Day Zero."


If your lawn is still green in Cape Town, there will be vigilantes coming for you soon, I suspect.

Trump, and US government shutdown, have created enough distraction that important stories like this are less noticed than they would be otherwise.

Hopefully, Cape Town can do some problem-solving and there will be the beginnings of a template for this kind of crisis in other cities. And there will be others. What about a consortium of wealthy nations getting together on a fleet of barges to tow some icebergs up from Antarctica way? OK, that might be crazy, but there should be lots of throwing out of crazy ideas right now.
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Re: Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby wolfhnd on January 23rd, 2018, 12:09 am 

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Re: Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby Serpent on January 23rd, 2018, 12:30 am 

If your lawn is still green in Cape Town, there will be vigilantes coming for you soon, I suspect.

Only because they've ignored the call for voluntary rationing. Idiots!

Hopefully, Cape Town can do some problem-solving and there will be the beginnings of a template for this kind of crisis in other cities.

Making citizens responsible to one another is kind of a solution. A better one would be for people who have home towns to go back there, but the economy would need to give some way - and the moneyed classes are unaffected by shortages and crises, so they don't have to. Best of all would be to decentralize generally and conserve resources.

And there will be others. What about a consortium of wealthy nations getting together on a fleet of barges to tow some icebergs up from Antarctica way? OK, that might be crazy, but there should be lots of throwing out of crazy ideas right now.

Nothing crazy about it. That's been in the theoretical works for some time.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... r-shortage
In sf, it's been the subject of armed conflict, as icebergs become scarce. Everybody claims ownership - except the penguins, seals and polar bears who actually need icebergs to live.
And even with the most ruthless raiding of the poles, it would be a short-term solution.

Don't steal more! Waste less.
Last edited by Serpent on January 23rd, 2018, 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby BurtJordaan on January 23rd, 2018, 12:30 am 

I live some 250 miles east of Cape Town and we experience a milder drought here - we have a year-round rainfall, but are quite some margin below average. Cape town is a winter rainfall area that received far below average rainfall for 3 years in a row now and 2017 has been the driest in a century in the catchment areas They can't expect significant rain before late April.

The local, provincial and national governments were caught with their pants down and as it goes in politics, blame each other for the crisis, because the larger catchment dams are national responsibilities. Anyway, belatedly the local government is now constructing desalination plants and are drilling holes to pump some of the known aquifers.

Farming in the Western Cape province is also in a crisis due to the drought, so altogether not a good situation.

Image
http://www.groundup.org.za. WCWSS = Western Cape Water Supply System.

Note the ~17mm/decade downward trend. Global warming?
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Re: Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby Serpent on January 23rd, 2018, 12:35 am 

But at least the ivory and rhino horn poachers will have lots of carcasses to dismember.
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Re: Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby BurtJordaan on January 23rd, 2018, 12:49 am 

Serpent » 23 Jan 2018, 06:35 wrote:But at least the ivory and rhino horn poachers will have lots of carcasses to dismember.

Those beasts are generally some 500-1000 miles to the North, where the rainfall has been good lately.
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Re: Cape Town first major city to run out of water?

Postby wolfhnd on January 23rd, 2018, 1:41 am 

Population growth and increased demand. Increasing the standard of living dramatically increased water use. There have been worse droughts but not under the same conditions.

I give South Africa a lot of credit for not letting environmental concerns overshadow human needs as is the case in California where they have chosen not to build water projects that have been planned for generations.

It is clear that nobody has an answer to the population issue or even where people choose to live. In the U.S. we continue to build in flood prone areas and move to areas that have little water such as Los Angeles and Phoenix. New Orleans is another example of human stupidity where people have decided to live below sea level. Every day I watch millions of gallons of water (86,340 cubic feet per second average discharge) go down the river but people don't want to live here in the Midwest. It isn't nice and warm and sunny with beaches. This is a problem to some extent brought on by government subsidizing the cost of providing water or flood prevention and encouraging people to live where nature did not intend people to live.
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