Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What happens on Day Zero?

No one is sure what will happen in Cape Town on Day Zero, except that the city will shut off the people’s taps.  Day Zero is when the last of the reservoirs dries up and the South African city of five millions stops the pumps and no water will flow from the taps. Day Zero is expected to arrive at end of April.

Prof. Thompson from Stanford U. has imagined that scenario. "Residents will then be able to pick up 6.6 gallons of water per day at one of 200 distribution sites that the city is setting up.  (By comparison, Americans use 80-100 gallons per day.)  If Cape Town is successful, it will have pulled off an amazing administrative feat.  One observer has estimated that each site will need to dispense water to people at the amazing clip of eight households per hour for 12 hours every day."

Africans are not noted for their social discipline. What happens when hundreds of thousands of people descend on each site for their daily water supplies? The military will have to protect the distribution sites.