Saturday, February 3, 2018

Cape Town taps turned off?

Day Zero is looming for Cape Town. According to the latest estimates 16 April is when the city’s water supply will be turned off until the rains arrive, leaving residents to line up for water rations at one of 200 points across the city.
The scramble for water is already raising tensions among residents. Freshwater springs now require 24-hour policing as congestion builds in surrounding streets and there have been sporadic reports of fights break out in the lengthy queues.
Elsewhere in Africa (Donald Trump's "shithole"), many are likewise gasping for water.


  1. They're not alone.

  2. Substanceless Guardian articles are becoming too frequent. The NY Times is a much better news source regarding this.

    For better or It seems that desalination is the solution of choice.

    Wealthy countries like the USA and Germany should be providing whatever resources and expertise the South Africans may need to meet the needs of the Capetown area,

    Other proposed solutions have not gained enough traction. Pathetic!

    “‘The national government has dragged its feet,’ said David Olivier, who studies climate change at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Global Change Institute.

    The national government controls the water supply to Cape Town, other municipalities and the province’s agricultural sector, including the large wine industry east of Cape Town. In the first two years of the drought, experts say, the national government failed to limit water supplies to farmers, intensifying the problem.

    But the city made mistakes, too. Last year, instead of focusing on “low-hanging fruit” like tapping into local aquifers, the city concentrated on building temporary desalination units, said Kevin Winter, a water expert at the University of Cape Town’s Future Water Institute.“


  3. Andy -- I plead guilty to reading The Guardian and admit a bias against the NYTimes, which is a good newspaper that has a tendency to steal others' ideas (friends of mine) and to be more or less guilty of the former Timesman's (Halberstam? Hersch?) critique (approximate) that "all you need to do is get Alexis de Tocqueville in the third graf and you're home free."

    1. Genkaku, don’t doubt what you say. In fact I’d like the learn more about how newspapers “steal” from each other.

      (In the movie “The Post” Tom Hanks’ editor character pretty much conspired to steal a story. However he didn’t know what the story was [the Pentagon Papers], just that the Times was doing something out of the ordinary. One could say the editor was doing his job properly, I don’t know.)

      I have had my own problems with the NY Times editorial policies. Such policies turn investigative reporters into liars thereby undermining the reporters’s credibility. Eventually one learns that newspapers kneecap themselves with political entanglements. One factors in a certain amount of skepticism, hopefully short of paranoia.

      The de Tocqueville comment may be dated but I suspect it indicates that some at the Times have little respect for certain groups of its readers. Such attitudes are perilious, and eventually become apparent. Again a certain kind of skepticism gets factored in. Also, a philosophical viewpoint isn’t a bad thing. Becoming a smartass hack reporter who is jaded is not a good thing.

      As to why the Guardian choses to highlight rather than to more carefully report on situations like Capetown’s water problem; it is likely pandering to a devolving consciousness that seems to prefer Twitter-like propaganda bytes.

      If it’s going to do bytes at least it should link its articles which provide better coverage.

      I have come across a heuristic a number of times which has become an essential when trying to understand a situation:
      Find out what, when, where, why, how, who is behind it, and who is affected by it, and how much money is involved, where it comes from and where it goes.
      I find that in general the “news” comes up short too often. If one is interested one needs to take any given “news story” further, usually much further. It is in this respect that the Guardian article that you linked to about the water crisis in Capetown was woefully inadequate. I admit I haven’t scoured the Guardian to see if it has better articles on the subject.