Not rain clouds near our house

Preparing for (and coping with) Day Zero in Cape Town

There’s a good chance that Cape Town won’t be able to supply water to its citizens through their taps starting sometime in the next couple of months (the city says mid-April; Tony thinks much sooner than that). Tony and I don’t have any special or expert knowledge, but we’re both slightly paranoid weather nerds, and it was apparent that by the end of winter 2017  (thanks a lot to our home weather station) that Cape Town was in serious trouble. We have been working on our water resilience at home for well over a year, and have been preparing seriously for the possibility of Day Zero since August.

Not rain clouds near our house
Not rain clouds near our house

I find that Tony and I worry less about things when we can make plans, compile checklists, think through possible outcomes and try to prepare for them, even if it’s just mentally. This is what works for us, not necessarily for everyone. And maybe I force Tony to do this because it makes me feel better. Anyway – as a result, we’ve done a lot of thinking and talking over different options and issues related to water security, and coping well with the way things might be if the taps run dry.

I’ve prepared a very informally written document (channelling James Joyce in its style), with input from Tony and a lovely colleague, which we shared with the rest of our office to help people who perhaps haven’t thought much about how they’ll care for themselves and their families during the current intense water restrictions, and beyond. I’m sharing it  here, and you are welcome to use it to spark some ideas of your own, or to encourage friends and family to plan to the extent that you think is sensible. Obviously if you plan to trigger some enormous financial expenditure or dangerous stunt related to what we talk about in the document, I expect you to do your own research to confirm things for yourself. Knowledge is power and I’m sharing this document without assuming any liability for what you do with the contents. Download the document here (pdf).

I hope you won’t mind a few more blog posts about drought-related subjects over the next few weeks. It may not be all about scuba diving, but it will be about water, if that helps!

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.