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Reckon The City Has Our Water Crisis Under Control? The Daily Maverick Doesn’t Think So

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

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Up in Jozi and Durban folks are battling floods, and down here in the Mother City we are readying for the beginning of the end.

Ha, funny guy, we’ll be fine and you can still crack a bath now and again because you’re a good person who separates your Woolies plastics and papers for recycling purposes.

Wake up and stop being a dickhead, because we are now staring an impending disaster square in the face.

This week the City of Cape Town implemented Phase One of its Water Disaster Plan – via Cape Town Etc, here’s what that means:

Capetonians can expect dry taps as the Metro rolls out Phase One of its Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan. Pre-selected suburbs can anticipate possible water outages for short periods of time, especially in the mornings and evenings. Affected residents are advised to store five litres for essential use…

Cape Town water consumption has dropped to 607 million litres per day from 618 million, however, the City is targeting a consumption of 500 million litres a day.

You can read more about Phase One HERE, but let’s move on to looking at how well the Daily Maverick think the City is prepared for what lies ahead.

Spoiler alert – we are headed for moerse kak:

There is little doubt that the current water crisis is indeed complex, multifaceted and subject to many factors beyond the direct control of the City of Cape Town. Nonetheless, the sense that the public is being given vague and partial information is hard to shake.

Earlier this month, the City said that it cannot provide “operational details” of its Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan, because such details are “sensitive in a disaster scenario”.

It is unclear, however, how it might be “sensitive” to inform the public about which areas can expect water shortages – unless the sensitivity in question has a political dimension…

If the City maintains its secrecy around the current water rationing schedule, however, it is inevitable that similar speculation will surround this round of service disruption.

Have you seen what Phases Two and Three are in this Disaster Plan? Go on then…

Complete supply infrastructure collapse – but go ahead and have that bath because it’s been a stressful week, darling.

Back to the City and how they’re preparing:

If the Phase 1 measures fail to ensure that water consumption in Cape Town drops, things get more dramatic. “Intensified restrictions” may kick in at that point. “Due to the emergency nature of this, [they] could be implemented at short notice,” [the City’s mayoral committee member responsible for water Xanthea] Limberg warns.

Thereafter, Phase 2 sees drinking water cut off from most homes and businesses, with Cape Town residents queuing to collect “a predefined quantity of drinking water per person per day” from collection points manned by police and soldiers.

The drastic nature of Phase 2 means that there is considerable public anxiety around this scenario – but again, no clear timelines can be provided. The City’s disaster plan states that its implementation will be considered “when there is a high likelihood that dam storage will drop below 10% before the onset of the winter rains”.

Of course we don’t know when that will be, with much scepticism around the fact that we’re still using a cool 100 million litres above the daily target.

But the aquifers, you cry out, because some guy did a vlog about water running under the city:

…it was reported that scientists at a conference in Muizenberg on Tuesday declared it impossible to extract sufficient water from the city’s aquifers to supplement the existing water supply by December. The aquifers have been one of the great hopes in providing a partial solution to the water crisis.

“Theoretically, it’s possible to extract 100-million litres per day from that aquifer,” John Holmes – the director of the earth sciences company partnering with the City to develop the aquifers – was quoted as telling the conference. “Is that going to happen by December this year? Absolutely not.”

It’s clear that the City of Cape Town officials don’t want to incite full-blown panic with statements that show what a right mess we are in, but perhaps that is what’s needed to jolt us mountain-oglers out of our comfort zones.

Get it in your skulls – we’re basically screwed and the City doesn’t have all the answers.

Enjoy your bath.

[sources:capetownetc&dailymav]

This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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