#WaterCrisis: 9 Cities also inching closer to their own #DayZero

2018-02-15 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
Post a comment 0

Gabi Zietsman

Cape Town - Cape Town isn't the only city with water problems. 

Water scarcity and resource mismanagement is a worldwide problem and many studies point towards global fresh water demand exceeding supply in the near future. BBC reports that UN-projections predict that we will exceed supply by 40% in 2030, and points towards factors like overpopulation and climate change as the cause.

SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: Cape Town wins bid to three major conferences on water, hygiene and sanitation

And it's not only cities in developing countries that are facing uncertain water futures. London, Tokyo and Miami have also been included on the list of top cities likely to run out of water, citing lack of rainfall, seawater contamination of aquifers and population growth that push beyond the cities' capacities.

Here are the 9 cities likely to face a water crisis like Cape Town in the future, according to BBC:

São Paulo, Brazil

The South American city faced a similar situation to Cape Town in 2015, when they faced their worst drought in 80 years, causing looting of water trucks after the reservoir dropped below 4% capacity. The drought officially ended in 2016, but low reservoir numbers in 2017 may point to another crisis in the future. The city's utility chief also told The Guardian that deforestation of the Amazon is also disrupting the natural flow of the city's water source.

ALSO SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: Day Zero has been moved, now what?

Cairo, Egypt

The Nile is one of the most famous rivers in the world, and is the source of life for Egypt. However, pollution from urban and agricultural sources have dirtied the Nile to dangerous levels, and rains have dwindled over the years. Increased populations have also drained the river beyond its abilities, and citizens' health has come at risk because of the hazardous waste entering the river.

Miami, US

Rising seawater levels threaten the water supply of this coastal American city, all because of a swamp draining project that's made Miami's aquifer susceptible to seawater contamination. Last year the state was declared as having the worst quality water in the US, especially failing to detect and report contaminated drinking water on the whole, according to a study conducted by the country's Natural Resources Defense Council. 

SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: Leading SA hotel group builds its own desalination plant


Mexico City, Mexico

The city has already sort of hit their own version of Day Zero, with taps being switched off for certain times of the day for a few hours for fifth of the population. Just  less than half of its water is imported and struggles to recycle water, and the constant deep drilling for more water has weakened the foundation of Mexico City, causing it to slowly sink within itself. New York Times posits that in some places it sinks 9 inches a year.

Beijing, China

China has one of the biggest populations in the world, but not enough freshwater for its thirsty masses. According to Earth & Space Science News Beijing's population is set to reach 50 million by 2050, and at the moment there's only 100 cubic metres of water available per person per year. Besides pollution, the reserves have also declined over the years, though the government has put projects in place to try and prevent water running out.

SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: 'Rightsizing' may be a benefit, but expect a spike in wine prices

Bangalore, India

This city has seen a massive spike in property development and its infrastructure is in dire need of an upgrade. Most of its lakes do not have potable water, unsuitable for human consumption, although The Hindu reports that its water board boasted that there will be no water shortage for its upcoming summer, if managed properly.


London, UK

With its constant rainy weather, one doesn't really see a UK city falling into a water crisis, but the city's water infrastructure can only handle so many people. The Greater London Authority predicts that this could become serious in 2040 as the city is ever-expanding.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Not everyone in Jakarta has access to piped water, leading to drainage of its underground water through illegal pits, and the high density of built infrastructure makes it difficult for rainwater to filter back down to the aquifer. Residents also spend around R130 a month on just boiling water so that they're able to drink, which is a heavy burden on the poor.

ALSO SEE: #CapeWaterCrisis: Pool damage headaches uncovered

Tokyo, Japan

Although it may not seem a likely candidate for a water crisis, the Japanese city's problem is that it gets a lot of rain in a short space of time, and thus capturing the water and storing it becomes vital. If one rainy season doesn't get as much rain as is expected, its 30 million residents could face a serious problem.


Plan your trip: