Cape Town, South Africa has suffering from a severe drought for quite some time, but the condition has never been this drastic ever before. The authorities just announced that the city’s residents now have just 100 days of drinking water left, spurring a wave of panic and confusion throughout the area. The local government has requested citizens to conserve water, while the firefighters have been instructed to use sea water to kill the two nearby wildfires. Lecturer Kevin Winter from the University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Sciences spoke on the matter,
“We can’t see any rain on the horizon,” Winter notes. “ And right now, in terms of dam storage levels, we’re probably approaching the ‘100 days left of storage.’”
Eyewitness News report that Cape Town’s dams have only 42.5 percent of its full capacity left, and this can drop to as low as 20 percent full in the next couple of months if the city fails to take drastic water conservation measures.
Xanthea Limberg from the City of Cape Town pointed out that water reserves reaching 20 percent storage mark can result in a very risky situation.
“This is a very low margin of safety because it becomes very difficult to extract the last 10 percent,” she explains. “We’re really encouraging residents to help us ensure that we can save water.”
The major cause of the low reserves of water has been pinned on the usage of thousands of liters on battling the two large, raging wildfires that sprung up nearby. Given the low reservoirs, the firefighters are resorting to “extreme measure” and have started using sea water to fight the fires.