Jan 20, 2018

Cape Town's taps could run dry within 100 days

Bare sand and dried tree trunks standing out at Theewaterskloof Dam, which has less than 20% of its water capacity. Photo: RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for water, Xanthea Limberg, said the city's taps are expected to go dry by April 22, per Reuters. That’s puts “Day Zero” fewer than 100 days away.

Picture this: Residents lining up for water, and soon, if there’s no rain to help replenish dams. Dams that supply nearly 4 million people are at under 20% capacity. Residents will have to line up when those levels reach 13.5%, per Reuters.

Why it’s happening:

Cape Town has spent three consecutive years in drought, and rains needed to replenish the dams have not come.

What they're doing:

  • Cape Town has implemented level 6 water restrictions and is encouraging people to live on less than 87 liters of water per day. But Limberg said some people aren’t heeding the recommendation, exacerbating the problem.
  • This past week the city launched an online water consumption map that allows people to check their neighbors’ water consumption habits, per ABC News.

Up next:

  • The city reportedly has a trial water collection site already and is considering adding 200 more. Residents would only be able to take 25 liters of water per day at maximum.

Go deeper

Trump attacks Schumer for impeachment in letter about coronavirus crisis

President Trump briefs reports on April 2. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of failing to prepare New York for the coronavirus crisis, writing in a scathing letter on Thursday that Schumer was too focused on the "ridiculous impeachment hoax" and that he's been "missing in action."

Why it matters: It's a blistering response to Schumer urging Trump to assign a senior military officer to enforce the Defense Production Act to produce more medical supplies.

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Novel coronavirus infections have hit the 1 million mark after "near exponential growth" that's reached "almost every country," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: The global death toll exceeded 50,000 on Thursday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported nearly 14,000 deaths. Governments around the world have introduced public health and economic measures to try and curb the impact of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 31 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,007,997 — Total deaths: 52,771 — Total recoveries: 210,055Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 236,339 — Total deaths: 5,648 — Total recoveries: 8,861Map.
  3. 2020 update: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus.
  4. Jobs latest: The coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state
  5. Public health latest: FDA allows blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.