Cape Town businesses and residents worry about water crisis

Without rain or another source of water, Cape Town’s taps will run dry by April 22.

City authorities are racing to build desalination plants, drill boreholes and tap into aquifers such as Table Mountain to prevent the calamity from happening.

“There are alternatives and there are countries in this world that have proven that there are ways to deal with drought and with desert regions. One has to look at the Middle East and see what Israel did to a desert there in respect of desalinization, India are also doing a lot of good work with desalinization,” Jeff Levy, owner of South Lodge said.

The hot summer weather is only exacerbating the situation.

“I think it’s an issue in terms of swimming, in pools, because a lot of people would like to do that and if they know that they’re going to come to South Africa and they’re not going to be able to do that. Or for example they’re not going to be able shower without you know, inconveniences, it might also have an effect,” Julia Streuber, a Cape Town resident said.

Despite the crisis, the tide of tourists remains strong for now.

“No I think it’s not anything which could stop you from coming here, I mean it’s anyway a beautiful country and if you not have a shower for one, two days it’s fine. But if there’s no water at all, I don’t know, I can’t actually imagine it, but yeah this should never stop you from coming here,” Claire Schaefer, a German tourist said.

Cape Town residents are also concerned but remain hopeful the government can find a solution.

“We can’t bath anymore, we can’t, we must just shower,” says Susan Jones. “And every other day we shower to save water. But we make do, you know, we make do.”

“I think the water is going to run out. It’s very scary to think of it but I think it’s a reality. And we definitely need to do our part and use as little water as possible, but I do hope that the government is doing something to prevent day zero because it will be a national crisis,” Another resident, Wendy Swiel said.

City officials say dam levels dropped below 30 percent in the first week of the year, with only about 20-percent of that water considered usable.

Authorities have urged residents to do their bit to save water, and stick to the rations implemented last year. Water collection sites are also being to set up. Residents can queue at those to fill up their water bottles. People and limited to a maximum 25 litres of per person, per day.

Two-thirds of the world could face water shortages by 2025, with one-sixth of the world not having access to clean water.