We’ve defeated Day Zero and can now safely say we’ve got sufficient water for all our guests during the water crisis in Cape Town.
What caused the Cape Town Water Crisis?
Population growth and climate variability resulting in below average rainfall for the past three years are the causes of Cape Town’s water crisis. Since 1995 the city’s population has grown 79%, from about 2.4 million to an expected 4.3 million in 2018. Over the same period dam storage has increased by only 15%. Since 2014, due to lower than average rainfall, peak dam levels at the end of each rainy season where consistently lower than the previous year with a linear downward trend indicating that our dams will run dry in 2018 before the next rainy season.
Water is a Human Right
In 2010, the UN explicitly recognized the human right to sufficient, safe, acceptable and physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use as a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.
When Cities and Governments are unable to provide Water
In times when cities and governments are unable to provide sufficient water, individuals and the private sector are on their own to ensure sufficient water is available to meet their basic daily requirements.
Changing the Way we Think about Water
Before even considering alternative water sources, we needed to accept that water is scarce and consumption patterns need to change. We knew we could reduce the consumption of water by reducing the need for water, implementing new technology, changing the way we think about water, changing from water-based processes to water-free processes and by re-using water for other purposes.
Alternative Water Sources during and after the Cape Town Water Crisis
Once we had successfully addressed above issues, we were in a position to further reduce our need for clean drinking water by using rain and ground water where clean drinking water is not a pre-requisite.
We’ve defeated Day Zero
Not only have we been able to cut water consumption by over 60% without of unduly affecting the comfort of our guests, we can now safely say that we will have sufficient water for all our guests.
How Visitors can help save Water
Locals are doing all they can to save water. Here’s how visitors can help: Take one short shower per day, don’t leave the tap running and flush only when needed. Consider to bring your own towel and extra clothes and wash them only back home. If you come by car from a region with plenty of water, consider to bring plenty of water with you. And most importantly, be considerate and show your appreciation for the situation.
The New Normal
Dry periods and wet periods will alternate with moderate years in between. Dry years are likely to increase and the chance of wet years decreases. That’s our New Normal when it comes to rainfall. What this means is that we shouldn’t see the current water crisis as a temporary phenomenon that will resolve in a year or two. It is a long-term problem. We all need to change the way we think about water and use water in the years to come.
Thank You to our Valued Guests
We would like to say thank you to all our valued guests who stayed with us and provided many useful tips – it is through your help and support that we are able to continue to provide accommodation in Cape Town even during the water crisis.