Returning home from the East Coast, the ominous "Day Zero" looms at Cape Town Airport and along the road on the way into the city. In Durban, it rained almost three times a week with a thunderstorm cooling the humidity to an almost comfortable level. Unfortunately, this weather is a phantom for Cape Town and its surrounding residents. We watch the weather carefully waiting for any sign of rain and plan how to save water in the midst of the worst drought in a 100 years. The taps will run dry, officials say, at the end of April.
Despite this, it seems the tourism industry has continued as normal. This has put a strain on the normal water consumption but tourists have been given a list of things they can do to save water 'like a local'. The tips include: not asking for new towels because of laundry loads, showering for only 2 minutes with absolutely NO baths to be taken, reporting leaky taps or pipes and even swopping your excess baggage allowance for drinking water that can be dropped off at Cape Town Airport.
But as the dams fall lower and lower, what can you actually do to help, besides saving as much water at home?
Upon reading an interesting article in the Telegraph UK, one thing comes to mind: drinking water. This is going to become a very important commodity in Cape Town with much of the brunt bore by the poorest people. If you are on tour in this beautiful city and would like to help, reach out to your guide or tour company to find out if and how you can donate drinking water to disadvantaged communities. They need our help the most.
Other campaigns by restaurants and bars have been to write: "Drink wine, save water" or something to that effect. It's up to you to choose but if you have the ability to donate water to people who need it the most, why not reach out to help the people who live in this amazing part of South Africa?
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Relaxation of water restrictions.
Dams supplying Cape Town are at 71% capacity, compared with 36% a year ago. As a result, the City of Cape Town will relax water restrictions as of Saturday, 1 December 2018. Residents will now be allowed to use 105 litres a day, per person. While locals are encouraged to keep their water-saving habits, no doubt the City of Cape Town hopes that the new limit will further increase tourism this summer season.
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