Environment & Energy Report

Will Cape Town Run Out of Water?

Dec. 8, 2017, 1:54 PM

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she has a new reason to hate Mondays.

That’s when she gets weekly reports on levels in the dams that supply South Africa’s second-biggest city, and on how much water its 4 million residents are using. The numbers regularly show that “Day Zero”—when most taps could stop running—will probably arrive in May, a month or two before the onset of the winter rains.

Patricia de Lille, the mayor of Cape Town.
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

“We have to change our relationship with water,” said De Lille, who has filled in her swimming pool and stopped washing her car. She spends 70 percent of her...

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