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Published: February 3rd 2018
You have probably read about the severe drought in Cape Town and the ensuing water shortage which has not improved since our last blog. In fact, effective Feb 1st, water rationing will be reduced further to 50 litres/day/person (25 litres per person for us as we are in a guesthouse of 8). For perspective, on average, water use in all of South Africa has been 237litres/day/person and in Canada, which is one of the highest in the world, usage is about 329 litres/person/day. So the restrictions will require significant behaviourial changes by all. The government has set up provisions on their website that allows everyone to monitor water usage of their neighbours. This seems drastic but is symptomatic of the action required. It has been reported that 60% of residents are not following the established water usage guidelines
It is now predicted Cape Town could be the first city in the world to run out of water sometime in April and emergency plans are being put in place. The rest of the country appears to have avoided drought and of course, just like most other democratic countries, there is a lot of debate and finger pointing among the politicians and
officials which is aggravating an already serious crisis. The National Government which is ruled by the ANC has placed the blame on the provincial/municipal governments both of which are ruled by the Democratic Alliance, an opposition party. The drought started in 2015 and little was done to prepare which more than likely deepened the crisis.
A picture is included of the Theewaterskloof Dam which is the largest water supply for Capetown and provides 41% of the city’s requirement. It’s clearly not hyperbole to show the water reservoir looking like a desert.
We are doing what we can and our water usage is well under the guidelines. We go the gym regularly and shower as they have their own water source. It’s amazing how creative people can be when necessary. The gym has an indoor pool and keeps it filled and open by using the water runoff from the Air Conditioning(most pools are closed and dry). We buy 5 litre water jugs for washing dishes and other personal use and use grey water when available for infrequent toilet flushing. Like anything else, you learn to adapt!! The only downside so far, I haven’t been able to give my hair
a good wash for a few days, but Debra’s says she still loves me anyway!!
In spite of the water challenges, we continue to enjoy our stay at Highcliffe House. Our hosts, Jane and Jim are providing their usual great hospitality, inviting us to Sunday Braiis(barbecue) and making us feel right at home. Our friends, Susan and Harry from France, have also returned to Gordon’s Bay for the winter and we’ve already had a couple of outings with them, including a very civilized lunch at Newton-Johnson winery. Last week we hooked up with Jeannie and Lee, a couple we meet who live in Niagara on the Lake and are vacationing in South Africa. We had a wonderful lunch with them in Franschhoek, a town that reminds us of NOTL.
Of course, last but not least our golf game continues to be a challenge and it’s been rough for the first few rounds but with continued determination and practice, we will achieve greatness!! Debra has greatly improved as measured by how few new expletives I hear during the round. The fairways are of course dry but the greens and surrounding grass is good.
We’ve got a busy next
couple of weeks planned and will send an update on our acitivities in the next blog.
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