Cape Town is running out of water

Cape Town is running out of water

Helicopters release water bombs to stop the wildfire but they are afraid to use salty sea water because that damages the vegetation.

Cape Town, South Africa is running out of water. The city has been struck by severe drought and there is enough water for just 100 days.

Just like Sao Paulo in 2015, citizens are asked to conserve and reduce their water supply. Kevin Winter, lecturer at the University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Sciences: 

“We can’t see any rain on the horizon. And right now, in terms of dam storage levels, we’re probably approaching the ‘100 days left of storage.

Dams around Cape Town

Dams around Cape Town are just 42.5 percent filled, but they could drop to as little as 20 percent in the next few months if the city doesn’t take drastic water conservation measures.

It’s a risky situation. 20 percent is a very low margin of safety because it will be very difficult to extract the last 10 percent according tot the city’s administration. But there is more. Two big wildfires suffer the country. To fight these wildfires, fireman are using thousands of liters of of the remaining water

Salty sea water causes damage to vegetation

Cape Town city spokesman Layne explains how this water is obtained: “When we use helicopters for water bombing, those helicopters obtain their water from reservoirs, dams and in extreme cases from the sea because using salty sea water causes damage to vegetation and also corrodes the mechanism inside the buckets used for water-bombing.


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