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May 12, 2018

Today wasn’t Day Zero in Cape Town, but the water crisis isn’t over

<em>The Theewaterskloof on April 03, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. </em>

The mayor of Cape Town, South Africa predicted in October 2017 that the city would run out of water by the following March. Since then, the date for what officials are calling “Day Zero” has shifted from April 21st, to April 12th, and April 16th. Today, May 11th, was another potential Day Zero — but the latest from the city is that the threat has been postponed to sometime in 2019. What gives?

In some ways, the shifting estimates are a good thing: they reflect how successful Cape Town has been at conserving its water. Now, no one’s washing their car, or hosing down sidewalks — and there are fewer leaky pipes. But the moving target also reflects the uncertain future of Cape Town’s water supply as the city enters the rainy season which, so...

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