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Environment & Energy Report

Business, Farm Water Cuts Help South Africa Turn Back ‘Day Zero’

Feb. 5, 2018, 8:38 PM

A sharp reduction in agricultural water use and the water-saving efforts of businesses and residents enabled drought-plagued South Africa to push back its impending “day zero"—the date when Cape Town will have to turn off most taps if the current drought continues.

Almost all of Cape Town’s water comes from six dams that depend on rainfall, and as the region has grown warmer in recent years, those dams’ capacity has plummeted dramatically. A planned shut-off would affect most homes and businesses, though hospitals and schools would be spared.

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