Cape Town Could Become The First Major City To Run Out Of Water

The South African city and the surrounding country has faced a three-year drought.
Posted at 9:12 AM, Jan 22, 2018

Cape Town could become the first major city in the world to run out of water.

The city has been facing a three-year drought, and officials predict the city's reservoirs will be nearly empty toward the end of April — what they're calling "day zero."

And starting in February, residents of Cape Town will only be allowed to use 13 gallons of water a day. For some perspective, Americans use nearly 100 gallons of water per day.

This impending crisis could be a preview of a new normal for South Africans.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says South Africa is already experiencing decreased rainfall. And dry spells are likely to get worse as the century progresses.

South Africa isn't the only place facing a water deficient future. By 2040, 33 countries could face extreme water stress.

To help stave off future water scarcity, Cape Town has already begun to install desalination plants to make salt water more drinkable, and it's looking into extracting groundwater.

Those options will be helpful for facing droughts in the future, but for right now, the city is unlikely to find much relief before day zero.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.