"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (2023)

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (1)Capetonians collect spring water from Kalk Bay on 1 February; in some springs, the wait can last for hours. Mikhael Subotzky and Johnny Miller for TIME

What is it like to experience the huge water crisis in Cape Town

Forhe is a baker
photographs byMIKHAEL SUBOTZKYyJOHNNY MILLERfor the time

I knew we were in trouble when I found myself Googling compost dry toilets. That was February 1st, shortly after the mayor's office here in Cape Town announced new water restrictions. We are now limited to using 13 gallons of water per person per day. That's enough for a 90-second shower, half a gallon of clean water, one sink to wash dishes or clothes by hand, one cooked meal, two hand washes, two toothbrushes, and one flush of the toilet. I figured I could save a few extra gallons by forgoing the daily flush in favor of a compost dry toilet. Hippie friends who live off the grid in the countryside yes. How bad could it be?

According to current projections, Cape Town will run out of water in a matter of months. This coastal paradise of 4 million people on the southern tip of South Africa will become the world's first major modern city to dry out completely. And while residents are not responsible, the onus of ensuring this doesn't happen is largely on our ability to reduce water use. Dramatically.

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (2)People line up to buy water at a grocery store in Milnerton, a suburb of Cape Town, on February 3. Mikhael Subotzky—Magnum Photos for TIME

Millions of people around the world live without sufficient access to water. But Cape Town is not an urban swamp in the developing world. It's a thriving metropolis, a well-run global tourism destination, accounting for 9.9% of South Africa's GDP, filled with multi-million dollar waterfront properties, art museums and two of the world's top 50 restaurants. Cape Town running out of water is like San Diego running dry. Which, considering the looming threat of climate change, might not be that far off. California's five-year drought that ended in 2016 has state officials scrambling to enact their own water restrictions. At one point, NASA warned that the state had less than a year's worth of supplies in its warehouses. As with the dry spell in California, climatologists at the University of Cape Town say that human-caused global warming is a likely factor in the continuation of the drought and that we, like many other cities around the world, face a drier future with an increasingly unpredictable future. rain. What is happening to us in Cape Town may not be an exception. It can happen to you too.

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Cape Town's crisis stems from a combination of poor planning, three years of drought and spectacularly poor crisis management. The city's outdated water supply infrastructure has long struggled to keep up with population growth. As dam levels began to decline midway through the first two years of drought, the standard response from city leaders was a series of vague exhortations to be "water conscious." Appeals for water savings have become more urgent inlast year. The rest of us pray for rain.

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It was only in September that Capetonians were given a limit of just over 23 gallons of water a day per person. By this time, the reservoirs were one-third full. But less than half of the city's residents achieved that goal: the tragedy of the commons, in action. As a result, with reservoirs reduced to the last remnants of accessible water, the 13-gallon limit we must reach is less than the United Nations minimum daily recommendation for domestic water needs.

Now, an even grimmer scenario looms: Day Zero, when the government will shut off the faucets in most homes and businesses in the city to save the last of supplies. Hospitals and other vital institutions downtown will continue to receive water, officials say, but most residents will have to line up at community water points to collect their daily allotment of 6.6 gallons, about half of our current limit. sparse and recommended. under the gaze of armed guards.

This dystopian scenario is not a hoax. As of February 5, Day Zero was predicted to fall on May 11, based on an analysis of current usage patterns and dam levels. Although the drop in agricultural use brought the date forward since the beginning of the year, there was no significant reduction in urban consumption, according to the city hall. Day Zero could easily approach if city dwellers don't continue to conserve. The looming lockdown has caused chaos, with shortages of not only bottled water but also water tanks and jerry cans. After the city's lush parks and golf courses withered, public restrooms now recommend that visitors flush only when absolutely necessary. Upscale cafes use paper cups and plates to cut down on dishwashing. Many fear for their livelihood; Analysts estimate that the water crisis will cost around 300,000 jobs in agriculture and tens of thousands in the service, hospitality and food sectors. If employees have to take time off work to wait in line for water, it will have an even bigger impact on the economy.

Which brings me back to the composting toilet. On day zero, there's no way I'm going to flush more than a third of my precious daily supply of water down a conventional toilet. Suddenly spending $250 on a high-tech composting toilet seems like a great deal. Until I read the fine print. Toilet contents should mature for several months in well-drained terrain several meters away from human habitation. I live in a row house with a concrete deck the size of two Ping-Pong tables. Now I imagine hauling buckets of human waste to the nearest farm.

City officials are urging families to stock up on emergency drinking water. That's a wise suggestion, except for the fact that bottled water, especially the five liter (1.1 gallon) version, is impossible to find. they sell theminute they hit the stores. My husband now drops our daughter off at school half an hour early so she can hit the supermarkets as soon as they open, hoping to get the water that was delivered overnight. So far, no luck. Even merchants don't know when the next shipment will arrive.

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The next best thing is heading to one of the city's natural springs to fill up a gallon, in an experience that feels like an early rehearsal for what's to come on Day Zero. In Newlands Spring, on the premises of a beer bottling plant, queues stretch for hours in the street. People arrive long before opening at 5 am. m. and brewery security guards keep an eye on the crowd to ensure order. Official plans for Day Zero state that there will be approximately 200 water collection points across the city, but many questions remain. A quick calculation suggests that even if only a quarter of residents showed up to collect family allowance, each site would receive about 5,000 water collectors a day. How will they transport the water? Where will they park? Even if each location has 50 to 200 faucets each, as the city promises, queues will likely take hours.

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (3)Swimming pools dot Kreupelbosch, an upscale suburb of Cape Town, amid a worsening water crisis. Mikhael Subotzky and Johnny Miller for TIME

Neighbors with swimming pools are lucky: a combined option of a built-in bath and emergency water supply. For the past six months, it has been illegal to fill swimming pools with municipal water; instead, most people buy well water trucked in from outlying areas that are not affected by the restrictions. The lucrative new business is in a legal gray area.

It is technically illegal to sell water from wells or rivers, but you can charge for labor and transport. On listings on the local version of Craigslist, water entrepreneurs offer to "deliver" water for 4.5 rand, or 36 cents, a gallon. If you want to drink water, it will cost more.

Despite not having a pool, I thought collecting that kind of water would help mitigate the chaos of Day Zero. All he needed was a big tank. I wasn't the only person with that idea. Every hardware store told me there was a six to eight week waiting list for new stuff, but a friend knew someone who knew a guy who could get me one faster if I was willing to pay. I pulled into a sand-covered parking lot only to see some plastic barrels that didn't look capable of holding a cup of tea, let alone hundreds of gallons. He was charging $350 each, nearly twice the market price of even the best quality tanks.

I kicked myself for my lack of foresight. Four months ago, I could have filled an affordable top-of-the-line tank with rainwater falling off my roof. Instead, I was swayed by Mayor Patricia de Lille's reassuring assurances that she "would not allow acity ​​runs out of water. Like the rest of us, the mayor was in denial. It is no small comfort to know that she has been removed from her water crisis management duties and faces a vote of no confidence in the city government.

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (4)Aubrey Witbooi carries spring water from Kalk Bay on February 1. Mikhael Subotzky—Magnum Photos for TIME

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"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (5)Obaidullah Cader, Muneerah Traut and Saajidah Cader collect water at Newlands Spring on February 3. Mikhael Subotzky—Magnum Photos for TIME

But the crisis did not start with a deceived mayor. This goes back decades. "City will run out of water 'in 17 years,'" declared a headline in the Cape Times on April 26, 1990. The story, citing a presentation by the Commission of Water Inquiry in the country's Parliament, recommended a water recycling system residual waters. to increase the supply of the city's six rainwater dams. Instead, Cape Town embarked on a commendable conservation effort, but it wasn't enough.

Now the city is on the mend, installing expensive desalination plants to purify seawater and struggling to tap the underground aquifer. Only two of the seven water harvesting projects are expected to be operational when Day Zero begins. As with my pendant water tank, a little extra planning would have gone a long way in avoiding an unprecedented meltdown. dimensions.

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (6)Mwai Halala, with his son, Jaden, holds water in Newlands on February 3. Mikhael Subotzky—Magnum Photos for TIME

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (7)John Levi, water carrier at Newlands, on February 3. Mikhael Subotzky—Magnum Photos for TIME

Cape Town may be the first major city to run out of water, but it won't be the last. In Mexico City, residents are already facing cuts in their piped water supply, and officials in Melbourne (another drought-affected city) are warning that the city is just over a decade away from running out of its current water supply. In a moment, before a sustained flood in 2015, the city of São Paulo was left with less than 20 days of water, according to the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based research organization that tracks the use of natural resources all around the world. world. It reports that more than 1 billion people currently live in water-scarce regions and up to 3.5 billion could experience water shortages by 2025 if steps are not taken to save water now.

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (8)On 3 February, Theewaterskloof Dam was at 13% capacity. Mikhael Subotzky and Johnny Miller for TIME

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As the Zero Day countdown progresses, Capetonians come together to share water saving tips online and on air via radio programs. Do not boil food; bake or cook on the grill. Use paper plates and wrap the platters in plastic wrap that you can remove after each meal. Order pizza and eat straight from the box. Take a bath in a plastic tub and use the water to wash your clothes. Keep a container at each sink to collect handwashing water. Use that and the water from your clothes to flush toilets.

Tips and attention began to work. OnOn January 30, Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, the political party that has controlled Cape Town for a decade, announced that the residents' efforts were paying off. But, he warned, unless consumption drops by at least 25%, Day Zero is still inevitable. The problem is that, other than turning off neighborhood faucets, there are few effective ways to cut down on profligate users. Instead, they are fined amounts ranging from $41 to $248, which in some wealthy neighborhoods is not a deterrent.

"I knew we were in trouble." What it's like to live through the massive water crisis in Cape Town (9)The future site of a desalination plant on February 1st. Mikhael Subotzky and Johnny Miller for TIME

The urge to run away before the taps are turned off is strong. Some of our friends are planning to temporarily repatriate to homes in the US and Europe. Companies are considering moving to Johannesburg, a two-hour flight away, while it lasts. I, for one, intend to hold on. After all, for the large number of South Africans who don't live in the wealthy, mostly white suburbs that still define Cape Town 25 years after the end of apartheid, Day Zero is just another day in the life. Many residents of the municipality already line up at a central tap to get their daily supply of water. In a nod to this reality, and fearing mass social unrest, city officials have said that municipalities and informal settlements will be exempt from Day Zero plans to shut down major water supply systems.

I'm pretty sure I can handle 6.6 gallons of water a day. I already take baths twice a week, and my daughter would take a bath once a month if I let her. I sacrificed a corner of my terrace to make room for my ordered water tanks. As soon as they arrive, I'll start praying for rain and intersperse my bucket showers with wet wipe refills. I will be cooking my meals on the grill and eating with my fingers. The bathrooms? So far, I've been using shower water for rinsing. But when the taps run dry, we won't even have that. So I reopen my internet browser and type again dry composting toilets. With any luck, they won't have been sold.

this is a bakeris TIME's Africa bureau chief, based in Cape Town. Follow her on Twitter@arynebaker.

Michael Subotzkyis a photographer represented by Magnum Photos. Follow him on Instagram@mikhael_subotzky.

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Johnny Milleris a photographer and drone pilot based in Cape Town. He is the founder ofAfricaDrone, a pan-African community of drone pilots. Follow him on Instagram@millefotosa.

FAQs

How did Cape Town solve water crisis? ›

From reusing bath and shower water, to enforcing a limit on activities that require large amounts of the resource, Cape Town's residents and businesses managed to stabilise and improve the dire situation.

What caused the water crisis in Cape Town? ›

The Cape Town crisis stems from a combination of poor planning, three years of drought and spectacularly bad crisis management. The city's outdated water infrastructure has long struggled to keep up with the burgeoning population.

How can we solve the problem of water crisis? ›

What is your top solution for the water crisis?
  1. Education/Awareness.
  2. New Conservation Technologies.
  3. Recycle Wastewater.
  4. Improve Irrigation and Agriculture Water Use.
  5. Water Pricing.
  6. Energy Efficient Desal Plants.
  7. Rain Water Harvesting.
  8. Community Governance and Partnerships.

How can we solve the clean water crisis in Africa? ›

Ways To Get Clean Water In Africa
  1. Set Up Rain Catchment Tanks. In areas that receive adequate rainwater, a rain catchment system can be an economical solution to water scarcity. ...
  2. Protect Natural Springs. ...
  3. Install Sand Dams. ...
  4. Rehabilitate Old Wells. ...
  5. Build New Wells.
24 May 2019

What are the main causes of water crisis? ›

What's causing the global water crisis?
  • Climate change. Unsurprisingly, climate change is one of the main reasons behind the global water crisis. ...
  • Natural disasters. ...
  • War and conflict. ...
  • Wastewater. ...
  • Water waste. ...
  • Lack of water data. ...
  • Lack of international cooperation on shared water sources. ...
  • Lack of infrastructure.
22 Mar 2022

What is causing water crisis? ›

Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others. At the current consumption rate, this situation will only get worse. By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population may face water shortages.

Who was affected by the Cape Town water crisis? ›

Economic. The water crisis resulted in the loss of 37,000 jobs in the Western Cape Province and an estimated 50,000 people being pushed below the poverty line due to job losses, inflation and increases in the price of food.

What are solutions of water? ›

A solution is a homogenous (uniform throughout) mixture, on a molecular level, of two or more substances. A solution of water mean water is a solvent in this case and it is known as aquous solution. For example, in a solution of salt and water, water is the solvent and salt is the solute.

What are the effects of water crisis? ›

Water scarcity limits access to safe water for drinking and for practising basic hygiene at home, in schools and in health-care facilities. When water is scarce, sewage systems can fail and the threat of contracting diseases like cholera surges. Scarce water also becomes more expensive.

What are 10 simple ways to save water? ›

25 ways to save water
  1. Check your toilet for leaks. ...
  2. Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. ...
  3. Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. ...
  4. Take shorter showers. ...
  5. Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. ...
  6. Take baths. ...
  7. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. ...
  8. Turn off the water while shaving.

What are 5 actions we can do to improve water quality? ›

Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Water Quality in Your Home
  1. Flushing. Run cold water taps for two minutes before using water for drinking and cooking. ...
  2. Cold Water Use. Do not use hot tap water for drinking and cooking. ...
  3. Water Filters. Routinely replace filter cartridges. ...
  4. Household Plumbing. ...
  5. Faucet Aerators. ...
  6. Water Heaters.

What are the 4 main ways to conserve water? ›

Tips for Conserving Water
  • Never use your toilet as a waste basket.
  • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take short showers instead of tub baths. ...
  • If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full.
12 Feb 2020

How can we save water at home with 10 lines? ›

10 Ways to Save Water at Home
  1. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
  2. Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
  3. Use a low flow shower head and faucet aerators.
  4. Fix leaks.
  5. Install a dual flush or low flow toilet or put a conversion kit on your existing toilet.

What are 20 ways to save water? ›

20 Ways to Save Water
  1. Use a displacement device (a water-filled bottle) in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water required to flush.
  2. Use toilet only for its intended purpose. ...
  3. Repair leaky taps or toilets immediately. ...
  4. Consider a small capacity toilet when replacing an old one.
  5. Take shorter showers.

How can we save the water essay? ›

Install canals on your rooftops so that rainwater can be reused for household purposes or can recharge groundwater. Use the full capacity of your washing machine while washing clothes. Water the plants in the evening to minimize evaporation. Instead of shower use buckets because it saves a lot of water.

Why should we save water? ›

Using water-saving techniques can save you money and diverts less water from our rivers, bays, and estuaries, which helps keep the environment healthy. It can also reduce water and wastewater treatment costs and the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and heat water.

What is water crisis in simple words? ›

It is a crisis of managing water so badly that billions of people - and the environment - suffer badly." World Water Vision Report. With the current state of affairs, correcting measures still can be taken to avoid the crisis to be worsening.

What are the causes of and solutions to water shortage? ›

Overuse in agriculture is a major source of freshwater shortage as it reduces the amount of water available for other purposes. Agricultural overuse also adds to pollution, as the runoff from fields and farms carries pollutants like fertilizers and pesticides into nearby rivers, lakes, and streams.

What are the types of water crisis? ›

There are two types of water scarcity:
  • Physical water scarcity.
  • Economic water scarcity.

What are the three problems of water? ›

Contents
  • 1.1 Water scarcity.
  • 1.2 Water pollution.
  • 1.3 Water security.

When did the water crisis start? ›

The Flint water crisis is a public health crisis that started in 2014 after the drinking water for the city of Flint, Michigan was contaminated with lead and possibly Legionella bacteria.
...
Flint water crisis.
TimeApril 25, 2014 – January 24, 2017
TypeWater contamination: Lead Legionnaires' disease outbreak Coliform bacteria THMs
9 more rows

Who is most affected by the water crisis? ›

From droughts to floods to infrastructure, a full 25% of the world's population is facing water stress and scarcity.
...
  1. Lebanon. Last summer, UNICEF reported that more than 71% of Lebanon's population faced critical water shortages. ...
  2. Pakistan. ...
  3. Afghanistan. ...
  4. Syria. ...
  5. Turkey. ...
  6. Burkina Faso. ...
  7. Niger. ...
  8. Nepal.
1 Mar 2022

How did the Cape Town water crisis affect the economy? ›

The drought and ensuing water crisis inflicted a heavy economic cost on both the city and the wider region, in particular the agriculture and tourism sectors. As ever, underlying the economic impact was a severe human toll of financial hardship concentrated on some communities and individuals.

Who suffers from shortage of water? ›

Women and children are worst affected - children because they are more vulnerable to diseases of dirty water and women and girls because they often bear the burden of carrying water for their families for an estimated 200 million hours each day.

What is pure water called? ›

Pure water is called distilled water or deionized water. In distilled water all of the dissolved substances mixed in water have been removed by evaporation. As water evaporates, it distills, or leaves the salt behind.

Why is water important? ›

Water helps your body:

Keep a normal temperature. Lubricate and cushion joints. Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.

How does water affect people's lives? ›

We rely on water for our food, our health, our livelihoods, and for fun and leisure. But water can also take away life. And the absence of water can be even worse. Currently, 700 million people live in water-stressed areas.

How has water impact your life? ›

Our bodies use water in all the cells, organs, and tissues, to help regulate body temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because our bodies lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's crucial to rehydrate and replace water by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

How does water affect humans? ›

Effects on Human Health

If drinking water contains unsafe levels of contaminants, it can cause health effects, such as gastrointestinal illnesses, nervous system or reproductive effects, and chronic diseases such as cancer.

What are 30 ways to save water? ›

30 ways to save water
  • 1 Check for leaks. ...
  • 2 Measure your water flow. ...
  • 3 Check your toilet cistern for leaks. ...
  • 4 If you have a single-flush toilet put a 1.5-litre plastic bottle filled with water in the cistern to reduce the amount of water you flush.
2 Jun 2017

What are 10 ways to save water 7? ›

Question: Enlist some methods to conserve water.
  1. Repairing leaking pipes and taps.
  2. Not wasting water during brushing teeth, shaving, bathing, washing clothes and during other activities.
  3. Rainwater harvesting.
  4. By drip irrigation of plants.
7 Nov 2017

What everyone must do to improve water quality? ›

Implement rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for drinking or recharging underground aquifers. Build wells to extract groundwater from underground aquifers. Provide home water-treatment capability through the use of filters, solar disinfection, or flocculants, to make drinking water safe.

What are 100 ways to save water? ›

100 Ways to Save Water
  1. When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. ...
  2. Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance checkup. ...
  3. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  4. Run your dishwasher only when it is full and you could save 400 gallons a month.

What are 10 uses of water? ›

The most common water uses include:
  • Drinking and Household Needs.
  • Recreation.
  • Industry and Commerce.
  • Agriculture.
  • Thermoelectricity/Energy.

How can we conserve water in 100 words? ›

Conservation of water is the only solution for sustenance. It has become mandatory that we must value every drop of water and avoid wastage at home, schools, factories and industries. Adopting the policy of Refuse, Recycle and Reuse will help in cutting down water consumption.

How did Cape Town beat the drought? ›

The city managed to develop a successful water savings campaign which stopped the taps from running dry in Cape Town. Had this not occurred, residents would have had faced severe restrictions on water use and their daily habits would have been upended.

When did Cape Town water crisis end? ›

The City of Cape Town successfully reduced water use by more than 50 percent during the drought from 2015 to 2018.

What efforts have the authorities in Cape Town made to make the water scarcity problem better? ›

The City of Cape Town worked to get residents and businesses on board with a host of water-saving initiatives. People were instructed to shower for no longer than two minutes. A campaign with the slogan “If it's yellow, let it mellow” promoted flushing the toilet only when necessary.

What will happen if there is not enough water in South Africa? ›

While rural citizens suffer the most, over 26 percent of all schools (urban or rural), and 45 percent of clinics, have no water access either. This lack of access to clean water across South Africa will result in many difficulties including issues with health, education, gender equity, and economic development.

Is Cape Town in drought 2022? ›

Cape Town drought comes to an end 2022/2023 | Luxury & Tailor-Made with Wexas Travel.

How can we stop the drought in South Africa? ›

The most effective drought agriculture solution is the implementation of regenerative farming practices. Regenerative agricultural practices have proven to minimise the effect of drought on agriculture.

Will the earth run out of water? ›

While our planet as a whole may never run out of water, it's important to remember that clean freshwater is not always available where and when humans need it. In fact, half of the world's freshwater can be found in only six countries. More than a billion people live without enough safe, clean water.

What states will run out of water? ›

The 7 States That Are Running Out Of Water

The drought in California is something we've spoken about in previous articles, but it's important to understand that California is only one of a handful of states running out of water. These states include: Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico and Nevada as well.

Will the UK run out of water? ›

“If more concerted action is not taken now, parts of the south and south-east of England will run out of water within the next 20 years,” the report concluded.

What happens if we run out of water? ›

When waters run dry, people can't get enough to drink, wash, or feed crops, and economic decline may occur. In addition, inadequate sanitation—a problem for 2.4 billion people—can lead to deadly diarrheal diseases, including cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses.

What country is running out of water? ›

Iraq. Iraq is considered a country with high water stress, a stark contrast to when the Iraqi city of Basra was once called “The Venice of the East”. About 98% of Iraq's surface water comes from the Tigris River and the Euphrates River, both of which originate from Turkey.

How many years of fresh water are left? ›

Unless water use is drastically reduced, severe water shortage will affect the entire planet by 2040. "There will be no water by 2040 if we keep doing what we're doing today". - Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Aarhus University, Denmark.

What actions can be taken to support local communities to improve their water supply? ›

Implement rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for drinking or recharging underground aquifers. Build wells to extract groundwater from underground aquifers. Provide home water-treatment capability through the use of filters, solar disinfection, or flocculants, to make drinking water safe.

What possible measures that can be implemented to reduce the impact of drought on municipality? ›

Cloud seeding; Evaporation suppression; Desalination of brackish groundwater or sea water; and. Effluent treatment and re-use.

How can a government assist to solve the problem of water shortage in South Africa? ›

'By reducing per capita consumption in the municipal sector, increasing the amount of wastewater that is treated and returned to the system, using groundwater more in agriculture, and moving away from coal-fired power plants, the country can bring its water sector back into balance. '

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