Cape Town and Water Scarcity

water scarcity in a warming world

Californians know drought. It is an ever present concern in this arid state, particularly as its population and economy – and therefore the demand on fresh water – continue to grow. A recent five-year drought prompted Governor Brown in 2015 to mandate a 25% reduction in urban water use, and state water officials set a goal of 55 gallons a day per resident for personal, indoor water use. After heavy rains last winter, the governor declared the drought over in April 2017 and lifted these targets. Nearly every month since, Californians have been conserving less water. Meanwhile, the bulk of California’s water supply – approximately 60% - supports agricultural crops and livestock. When the inevitable happens and water supplies become low again, everyone and everything in California feels the impact – farmers make tough decisions about what and how much to grow, wildlife habitat declines, and certain jobs (in farming, food processing, winter recreation, and even semiconductors) can disappear.

Read more here. capetowndesalination.pdf