Cape Town's water restrictions bring creative responses - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cape Town's water restrictions bring creative responses

Posted: Updated:
JOHANNESBURG -

One of the world's top tourist destinations, Cape Town, South Africa, is running out of drinking water. The city is facing its worst drought in a century.

Water behind a key dam is dangerously low, and the date faucets are expected to run dry is now April 16th, the so-called "Day Zero." 

Almost two million tourists flock to cape town every year, accounting for an estimated nine percent of South Africa's economic output last year. City authorities are racing to build desalination plants and drill underground wells. 

The crisis could force residents to stand in line for emergency rations.

At a trial water distribution site, residents can fill up containers with a limit of about six and a half gallons per person, per day

"We definitely need to do our part and use as little water as possible, but I do hope that the government is doing something to prevent day zero because it will be a national crisis," Cape Town resident Wendy Swiel told local media. "It will be honestly horrific when day zero comes, It's going to be very scary but I think it's a reality, unfortunately."

City officials say dam levels dipped below 30-percent in the first week of the new year, with only about 20-percent of that water considered usable. 

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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