Day Zero is closer than ever and may even occur sooner than expected as on the 21ST of April 2018. This will not only influence the Western Cape, but South Africa as a whole. With the 50-litres-per-day-for-the-next-150-days alarms going off, will the looming ‘Day Zero’ affect those beyond the Western Cape?
Water is a daily need – cooking, drinking, hygiene – and the need for it is far greater than what the city has left. Water meters are being monitored, swimming pools are being emptied, and monthly tariffs have increased to ensure that households use water within the set restrictions. The rest of the country will feel the water crisis pinch.
- Drought creates a socio-economic effect. The deficit between water demand and water supply worsens, forcing businesses to cut down drastically during production. This contributes to the already existing socio-economic factor of unemployment with more businesses trimming overhead costs to allow them to remain profitable. Unemployment in the Western Cape will have a ripple effect on the rest of the country, with people relocating in search of jobs elsewhere.
- Health risks increase as the greater population adjusts to the limited water use for sanitary purposes. One of the biggest perils is the sewerage system coming to a standstill.
- Because Cape Town is the leading exporter of wine, fruit, vegetables and wheat, the prices of these commodities are bound to increase nationally in order for the agricultural sector to remain profitable despite lower quantities in production.