Cape Town Water Crisis: An Alarming Situation You Need To Know About

Cape town water crisis
Cape town water crisis

“Use water wisely; Don’t waste water;  Save water; Close running taps…” We have been hearing this since the day we were born. Can you imagine a day without drinking or using water? Well that day is no longer a distant reality which is evident by the Cape town water crisis. In fact, the citizens of Cape Town are on the verge of facing “Day Zero”. India is no exception from this crisis.

cape town water crisis

What is Cape Town Water Crisis?

The major victim of this crisis is the city of Cape Town, South Africa where a drought began in 2015. Due to the Cape town water crisis, the citizens are now forced to cut down their water usage and the tightest yet was in February when they had to stick to 13 gallons a day.

cape town water crisis

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What is Day Zero?

The city is edging towards a day locally known as “Day Zero”. A day when water supplies are so low that authorities will have to cut off water to three quarters of the population. The “Day Zero” has been moved back several times.

cape town water crisis
Pic Courtesy: The Atlantic

“The more water we use, the faster our dam levels decline. In the past week, despite the rain that was received, dam levels have fallen by 0.5% to 22.2% , primarily on March 24”, said Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson.

The workers at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital are trying hard to push this day. On account of the regulation in the use of water and implementation of water management systems, the city is now optimistic that there might be no “Day Zero” in 2018.

cape town water crisis
Pic Courtesy: DOGO News

Where in India is this Ticking Time Bomb likely to explode?

The city is dying. – T.V. Ramachandra

Bengaluru is the city which is more likely to witness the similar fate as Cape Town. “The city is dying,” says T.V. Ramachandra, an ecologist with the Indian Institute of Science who has predicted the Karnataka state capital could be the first Indian city to follow Cape Town in running out of water.

The city is facing water scarcity due to the depletion of groundwater. The construction of giant borewells in many parts of the city has plummeted the ground water table. The people mainly depend on the water supplied by tankers filled from these borewells. There is enough water in the city to fulfil the need of its 10 million people. The problem is that the water resources aren’t harvested efficiently.

water crisis in india

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Not just Bengaluru, many other states of India such as Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra  are also facing major water challenges. “Availability of water has been taken for granted till recently. It is so no more. The rapid growth in population, coupled with increasing economic activities, has put a tremendous pressure on the available water resources,” said this report titled Reassessment of Water Resources Potential of India 1993, Central Water Commission.

Let’s have a look at the current scenario!

water crisis

The availability of drinking water has been depleting at an alarming rate. This tasteless and colourless transparent liquid is the very epitome of our life. The current statistics show that about 844 million people are living without access to safe water. Women are facing major challenges as they have to travel long distances for collecting water especially in rural areas. Women and girls spend up to 6 hours everyday  and devoting their time to study, work etc. in collecting water. This has also added to lack of proper sanitation and is estimated that 2.3 billion people are living without access to good sanitation. Around $260 billion money is lost globally each year due to lack of sanitation and safe water.


The people in cities such as Cape Town are experiencing the terrors of their lives as they have to limit even their basic needs; a few litres of drinking water and unable to bathe and wash daily. The time has come for us to accept the hard realities of our past actions. Even the existing water resources are polluted and exploited on dangerous levels. We are not aware of the consequences of our actions. In fact,even  the disposal of excreta in the snow capped mountain slopes by mountaineers are polluting the water bodies when the ice melts causing diseases such as cholera.

solution water crisis

We have always assumed that money could buy us whatever we ever wished for. Can money buy us water? Perhaps, yes. It can but only up to a certain limit. What happens when all of the safe water gets extinguished?  Eradicating water scarcity is the need of the hour. This is the responsibility of each and every one of us. Now there is no time to yell, STOP WASTING WATER. Well, if you are wasting it and then lamenting, hear this: you are just crying over spilled milk. CONSERVE WATER!

cape town water crisis

This is altered: nozzle. Same tap, 98% less water. These are the modern and efficient means of water conservation which can be implemented at our homes easily. Watch the video to know more about this new technology.

Aren’t we blessed to have enough water daily? While you’re here, take some time to think about those unfortunate souls. Don’t you feel a need to contribute to this water crisis? The  organisations such as The Water Project, and so on are making a difference in the lives of these people (The links are given below).

The Cape town water crisis is a warning for us all. If we don’t learn from it now, there might nothing be left to learn. Go create an impact on the world by giving water to a few million people. Let us donate whatever little we can to save millions of lives. Let us together make a difference and save lives.