Note — Sep 16, 2018

Climate Change to Revolutionize Politics in Cities Across the World.

Based on the story of Day Zero in Cape Town (including perhaps too many details of local politics) and then in São Paulo’s situation, the article offers a good overview of how water crises will play out in various cities. As I mentioned before; the less fortunate get hit first and hardest. Climate catastrophe, or even just serious reductions in resources, will create conflicts and further inequality.

“During that time, a local government pushed a water-conservation agenda more ambitious than just about anything the world had seen. Cape Town faced political fallout and experienced widespread protests. Divisions between the haves and the have-nots in one of the most unequal cities on Earth became the center of discourse. The racial wounds of a post-apartheid country opened once more. […]

As they stand now, the Level 6B restrictions created by the city of Cape Town in January 2018 are supposed to limit residents to 50 liters per day, slash agricultural use by 60 percent below last year’s usage, aggressively push water-management devices and fines, and encourage the use of new fittings and other devices to minimize water waste. […]

Between things like drinking, tooth brushing, showers, toilet-flushing, doing the laundry, and hitting your work outfit with a little steam, Americans use somewhere around 90 gallons, or 340 liters, of water every 24 hours. That’s more than 700 pounds of water per day, and that’s not even counting what goes into the food you eat or the thirsty maws of the industries and services that sustain you.