Welcome to Cape Town 2018, where the dams that feed the city are at an all-time low after three successive years of far below-average rainfall. Cape Town is a winter rainfall area, and the earliest we can expect heavy rain is late April -- assuming, and this is a big assumption, that normal rainfall returns after several years without.Update, 2/11/18: Rain:
Not surprisingly, everywhere you go in the city, there is just one topic of conversation: water. With authorities estimating that Cape Town could be just 75 days away from becoming the first major city in the world to run out of water, websites and Facebook pages like this one have mushroomed. A common theme is tips and hints on saving water and posts by MacGyver-types with innovative ideas and inventions...
The how is littered with missed chances and a failure to address warnings of a future crisis going back many years. As far back as 1990, South Africa's Water Research Commission cautioned Cape Town could run out of water within 17 years. And yet, no concrete steps were taken to prepare for this eventuality.
The crisis has been complicated by politicians playing the blame game about who's at fault.
When it finally came, restaurant diners rushed outside mid-meal to see the deluge for themselves. Others grabbed buckets to collect precious water from gutters to be used for washing clothes.
The rain that fell on Cape Town Friday evening was cause for celebration in a drought-stricken city headed for "Day Zero" -- the day when taps are expected to run dry.Though whether the brief downpour was enough to delay "Day Zero" -- set now for May 11 -- remains to be seen.