Published citizens are not taking the situation

Published on NBC News, Catie Monteiro’s article Water crisis grips Cape Town, South Africa, after drought stretching years very clearly address the economic principle of scarcity. Cape Town is in its worst drought in one hundred years. Cape Town will become the first major city to run out of water. This event is known as “Day Zero” and is projected to happen on April 12. Restriction have been put in place to make available water last as long as possible. Despite warnings and regulations, many citizens are not taking the situation seriously and waste valuable water. The population in Cape Town has grown by 80 percent since the end of white minority rule in 1994 (Monteiro). This explosive growth has caused strain on the city’s infrastructure. It literally cannot support the amount of people living there under current conditions. Dams are at all time low levels and alternative efforts to get water are unsuccessful, “Efforts to secure alternate sources of water have yet to be completed. Of the seven projects listed on the city’s water dashboard, six are running behind schedule, and not one is more than 60 percent finished,” (Monteiro). This depleting resource has caused scarce situation where some citizens are taking extreme measures to try and postpone the inevitable.   One citizen mentioned in the article demonstrates the actions many are resorting to. Sitaara Stodel has “buckets of gray water are scattered apartment: in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the hallways and in her laundry room,” (Monteiro). All of this water has been reused from showering and the washing machine to cook, brush teeth, and flush the toilet. Each day people are faced with an opportunity cost situation. One can either brush his or her teeth or flush the toilet, you cannot do both. Starting February first, citizens are only allowed 13.2 gallons of water. The average American uses almost one hundred gallons of water a day. By Day Zero, water will be so scarce that taps will be shut off. Only taps in the hospital and communal taps will be allowed to operate ” to avoid the threat of disease,” (Monteiro). Monteiro explains that in order to impress the urgency of the water scarcity, household water use is being monitored and fines are issued. People are living with rose colored glasses on. They continue to use water carelessly by watering their lawns, filling their pools, and even bathing. Those who have the means to leave have already done so, realizing that the current environment is not good and unsustainable until a solution can be found. Overall, the article tackles the principle of scarcity and the impacts that can have on the people living in the area. Water is so scarce that people have to use the same water they cooked dinner with to brush teeth and bathe in. Water is a scarce resource right now in Cape Town and the immediate surrounding area. People must come up with ways to preserve water they have left because Day Zero is approaching. When that day arrives, they will have to deal with the consequences of not approaching the scarcity of this valuable resource with more seriousness until the rains return.

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