How Many Days Of Water Does Cape Town Have Left?

was too long for a blog post title. In my humble opinion, anyway.

If you want to know the answer to that question, then you might find a visit to local website informative.

I went there just that this morning and I saw this:

Yes, whatever method they’re using, described as:

using our recent consumption as a model for future usage

provides us with the frankly terrifying prospect of October 7th being the day at which Cape Town’s dams hit the apocalyptic 10% mark.

But I think that they’ve got it wrong.

I thought I’d give the rudimentary calculation a go myself.
I went for the mathematically simple:


Long story short, according to the latest city figures, we have 250581 megalitres stored, which is 27.9% of total storage capacity. As has been mentioned ad nauseum, the last 10% of our capacity is “unusable”, so clearly we can only use the first 17.9% bit of that (which is 64.2% of 27.9%).

That’s 160767 megalitres.

And we’re using 642 megalitres a day. So I make that

250 days – April 7th 2018


Far more reasonable, and more than a bit of a difference. I even did it in purple for you, and look, it does fit with Clem Sunter’s prediction/calculation.

Look, if you are going to have a website that only has one purpose, at least make it accurate. Does HasZumaQuitYet need checking too (he said, hopefully)?

Not great. Anyway, all in all, it’s still an excellent reminder that one way or another, pretty soon the only thing we’re going to be waist deep in is Shit Creek.

Sans paddle.


(I think I can see what they’ve done, by the way: they’ve divided the 250581Ml by 100 instead of 27.9 before multiplying by 17.9. I just don’t know who to tell about it. No contact details on there, see?)

5 thoughts on “HMDOWDCTHL?

  1. Bleak, but I almost just want to get it over and done with. We’ve cut our water consumption to a fraction of what it was. (And save a total of something like R100 per month in the process.) So we’ve done our bit. The anguish and prospect of doom – the guilt and panic and helplessness – is somehow worse than the inevitable process of adaptation and innovation that Day Zero will require. I’m not looking forward to it, but in some ways it will almost be a relief.

  2. Ami Kapilevich > Well, yes. But not by October.
    Anyway, with everyone crowing about cutting their usage, I simply can’t understand why we’re still running dry…

  3. I suspect because the people who are cutting and have cut are the ones who are speaking. Those still wasting are keeping quiet and admiring their clean cars.

  4. I figured out how they got their figures, they have multiplied the usable percentage of water left in the dams by 365. And people all over the internet are using their figures as the truth.

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