Before we left on this trip, we heard that Cape Town was running out of water. If you are wondering why Cape Town is running out of water it is because they have had three years of low rain fall and their population is increasing. So as people are moving there, there is not as much water to be spread around. Did you know that there is such a thing as ‘Day 0’? It’s when Cape Town will eventually have to turn off all taps. 4 million people will not have water on Day 0. From then on, people will have to line up, surrounded by guards, to get 25 L of water. Fortunately, Day 0 keeps getting postponed. It was supposed to be April then it got moved to July and now it is in January.
We didn’t know if we should go to Cape Town or not. When we went to Sydney Australia, we met up with some old friends from South Africa who connected with their relatives living in South Africa and asked if it was ok to go. They said it was ok. Also, my Mom and Dad read a National Geographic article that said visitors should still go because it helps the economy. So, we decided to go.
On Sunday May 6, we flew into Cape Town. Immediately I saw a whole bunch of signs letting people know about the water crisis and to keep in mind that Cape Town doesn’t have a lot of water. In the bathrooms in the airport (and in other public bathroom too), instead of soap there was hand sanitizer because the taps were turned off. At the car rental office (Avis) I saw a sign explaining that the outside of the car won’t be clean but the inside would be.
The government is asking everyone to live off 50 L of water a day per household. If you use more than 50L you’ll pay a big fine. We tried to live off 50 L too. Some of the things we did were:
When we saw all the signs at the airport I thought a lot of people would follow the rules but the next day we saw people watering their outdoor plants with sprinklers. I thought that wasn’t really fair to the rest of the city when they could use the water and waste it and others could need water for themselves.
When we were walking along the water front we saw a desalinization plant to take salt water from the ocean and turn it into drinking water. Did you know that it’s not the government who built this plant? It’s actually a hotel. I thought it was because they would want tourists to have a lot of water and they would like their hotel and say good things about their stay in Cape Town.
I really enjoyed Cape Town and only thought of the water when I needed to. I also thought of what it would be like living on Day 0 and then on. Builders who work in Cape Town are making a siphon to get the last little bit of water out of the reservoirs. I hope they they never have to use them and it rains a lot in the next few years.
We're the Danchuks - follow our explorations and family adventures in a wide world (2018).