At least for now.
“From nearly empty (total storage capacity of 19%) to overflowing (total storage capacity 100.8%), the change is amazing, with lush greenery covering the surrounding countryside instead of dry, parched, semiarid conditions,” Tresfon says.
Capetonians became all too familiar with 90 second showers and reusing gray water to flush their toilets.
At the height of the crisis and just days before dams ran dry, residents were restricted to 50 liters per day (just over 13 gallons) for all cooking, drinking, washing and bathing. If “Day Zero” had been implemented, residents would have had to queue for daily water rations of 25 liters per person.
Capetonians rallied together to ration water like never before, changing its societal relationship with water. It was and continues to be a united effort to save their precious, limited resource.
However, this celebration may be premature if future water conservation efforts are relaxed and the city falls back into a period of demand outweighing supply. Cape Town has a long history of water stress, as it’s situated in a semiarid region of southern Africa.
Fortunately, the Western Cape has received above-average winter rains, which has helped alleviate the city’s drought stress and replenished the dams to their former glory.