(Translated via Google Translate from a German newspage “ZDF heute” – so please excuse some funny glitches)

Drought threatens metropolis – Cape Town runs dry

Date: 30.12.2017 08:22

 

Swimming pools have closed, nurseries and car washes had to close: in Cape Town, the water is scarce. Now the citizens tremble before the “zero hour”.

Cape Town is going out of water due to the worst drought since centuries. If it does not rain soon, end of April threatens to be the “zero hour”, in which the city in South Africa has to turn off the water. Then the approximately 4.5 million inhabitants would have to collect their water under the supervision of the military and police at 200 distribution points. Every day, in one of Africa’s most developed cities, there would be only 25 liters of water per person – the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for maintaining good health and hygiene.

 

Tourists region is sitting on the dry

We basically have to change our relationship with water.

(Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille)

“We are trying everything to prevent the “zero hour”… but we must fundamentally change our relationship with water,” warns Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. The region attracts around five million tourists every year, including hundreds of thousands of Germans.

But swimming pools have been empty for a long time. Gardens may no longer be watered for months. It has just begun the dry summer time. Rain is expected again in May or June – if at all. For weeks residents have been consuming only 87 liters of water a day on average – and drinking, washing, cooking, cleaning and flushing.

 

From January only 40 liters of water per capita

For comparison: In Germany, more than 120 liters of water are consumed per person per day. But to avert the “hour zero” for Cape Town, the city administration halved the permitted water consumption from 1 January now again from 20,000 liters to 10,500 liters per household. That equates to just over 40 liters per person in a large household. Depending on the sector, commercial consumers have to reduce between 45 and 60 percent. Those who do not comply will have to pay fines in the future. Even now, the reservoirs that supply Cape Town with water are only one-third full. The region was declared a disaster area months ago. “If the water level drops to below 13 percent, we turn the taps off,” threatens de Lille.

 

Water from reservoirs is not enough

It is clear that the water at the dams that supply the city will not suffice until the next rainfall. Only the densely populated poor areas around Cape Town would be excluded from extreme measures, since there the risk of disease outbreaks is too high, de Lille explains. “It is clear that the water at the dams that supply the city will not be sufficient until the next rainfall,” warns Piotr Wolski, a climate researcher from the University of Cape Town. Therefore, the water consumption must be heavily rationed. On an urban website, citizens can follow in real time when the “hour zero” will strike; currently on April 29, 2018. The city currently consumes more than 600 million liters a day, explains the head of the municipal water supply, Barry Wood. Consumption must fall by more than 100 million liters to avert disaster.

 

Researcher: A climate- no planning problem.

According to researchers at the University of Cape Town, the causes of the crisis have more to do with the effects of climate change than with poor urban planning. Cape Town is located in an increasingly dry province, the Western Cape, where the weather has changed dramatically in recent years. In addition, the climate phenomenon El Niño in the region causes extreme drought.Numerous companies dependent on water such as garden centers and car washes have gone bankrupt. Agriculture has also lost millions in this harvest season, says Graham Paulse of the Regional Ministry of Cooperative Governance. The onion harvest has shrunk by half, the fruit harvest is to go back by 20 percent, the wine harvest by five percent, so Paulse. Around 50,000 jobs are said to be threatened due to the drought.Many citizens are trying to make themselves at least partially independent of urban water supply. They install systems for water recycling and dig wells. Rainwater tanks are sold out everywhere. Every day, dozens of people jostle for two natural springs on the outskirts to refill water canisters. Yusuf Manjee, a 68-year-old retiree complains as he fills numerous plastic bottles, “If things get worse, we’ll move away.

Drought tax is discussed

At the same time, the city is trying to improve its water supply through a series of seawater desalination plants, water reclamation and groundwater extraction. Between February and July, a total of 144 million liters of water are to be obtained. Also, in many parts of the city, the water pressure has been reduced to reduce consumption. Starting in February, the city is considering the introduction of a “drought tax”, which requires homeowners a staggered fee depending on their real estate value. In this way de Lille wants to win over the next four years the equivalent of 260 million Euros for the expansion of the water infrastructure.
Mayor de Lille says to save water, she doesn’t shower every day and comes somethimes to the office with greasy hair. But if not more water is saved quickly, the city could still turn into a disaster area with the “zero hour”.

Source: dpa

(Quelle: ZDF heute)
Dürre bedroht Millionenstadt – Kapstadt vertrocknet

Datum: 30.12.2017 08:22 Uhr

Schwimmbäder haben geschlossen, Gärtnereien und Waschstraßen mussten dichtmachen: In Kapstadt wird das Wasser knapp. Jetzt zittern die Bürger vor der “Stunde Null”.

Kapstadt geht wegen der schlimmsten Dürre seit Jahrhunderten das Wasser aus. Wenn es nicht bald regnet, droht Ende April die “Stunde Null”, in der die Stadt in Südafrika das Wasser abstellen muss. Dann müssten sich die rund 4,5 Millionen Einwohner ihr Wasser unter Aufsicht von Militär und Polizei an 200 Verteilungspunkten abholen. Täglich würde es dann in einer der entwickeltesten Städte Afrikas nur noch 25 Liter Wasser pro Person geben – das von der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) empfohlene Minimum zur Aufrechterhaltung von Gesundheit und Hygiene.

Touristenregion sitzt auf dem Trockenen

Wir müssen unsere Beziehung zu Wasser grundsätzlich ändern.

Kapstadts Bürgermeisterin Patricia de Lille

“Wir versuchen alles, um die “Stunde Null” zu verhindern doch dafür müssen wir unsere Beziehung zu Wasser grundsätzlich ändern”, warnt Kapstadts Bürgermeisterin Patricia de Lille. Die Region lockt jährlich rund fünf Millionen Touristen an, darunter auch Hunderttausende Deutsche.

Doch Swimmingpools stehen seit Langem leer. Gärten dürfen seit Monaten nicht mehr gewässert werden. Dabei hat gerade erst die trockene Sommerzeit begonnen. Regen wird erst wieder im Mai oder Juni erwartet – wenn überhaupt. Schon seit Wochen dürfen Einwohner im Schnitt nur noch 87 Liter Wasser pro Tag verbrauchen – und das zum Trinken, Waschen, Kochen, Putzen und Klospülen.

Ab Januar nur noch 40 Liter Wasser pro Kopf

Zum Vergleich: In Deutschland werden pro Person mehr als 120 Liter Wasser pro Tag verbraucht. Doch um die “Stunde Null” für Kapstadt noch abzuwenden, halbiert die Stadtverwaltung den erlaubten Wasserverbrauch ab 1. Januar nun nochmals von 20.000 Litern auf 10.500 Liter pro Haushalt. Das entspricht nur noch gut 40 Liter pro Person in einem großen Haushalt.

Gewerbliche Verbraucher müssen je nach Sektor zwischen 45 Prozent und 60 Prozent reduzieren. Wer sich nicht daran hält, wird künftig Bußgelder zahlen müssen. Schon jetzt sind die Stauseen, die Kapstadt mit Wasser versorgen, nur zu einem Drittel voll; die Region wurde schon vor Monaten zum Katastrophengebiet erklärt. “Wenn der Wasserspiegel auf unter 13 Prozent sinkt, drehen wir die Wasserhähne zu”, droht de Lille.

Wasser aus Stauseen reicht nicht aus

Es ist klar, dass das Wasser an den Staudämmen, die die Stadt versorgen, bis zum nächsten Regen nicht ausreichen wird.

(Klimaforscher Piotr Wolski)

Nur die dicht besiedelten Armengebiete rund um Kapstadt würden von extremen Maßnahmen ausgeschlossen, da dort das Risiko von Krankheitsausbrüchen zu hoch sei, erklärt de Lille. “Es ist klar, dass das Wasser an den Staudämmen, die die Stadt versorgen, bis zum nächsten Regen nicht ausreichen wird”, warnt Piotr Wolski, ein Klimaforscher der Universität Kapstadt. Daher müsse der Wasserverbrauch stark rationiert werden.

Auf einer städtischen Website können Bürger in Echtzeit verfolgen, wann die “Stunde Null” schlagen wird; momentan am 29. April 2018. Die Stadt verbrauche derzeit mehr als 600 Millionen Liter pro Tag, erklärt der Leiter der städtischen Wasserversorgung, Barry Wood. Der Verbrauch müsse um mehr als 100 Millionen Liter sinken, um eine Katastrophe abzuwenden.

Forscher: Ein Klima- kein Planungsproblem

Die Ursachen der Krise haben nach Angaben von Forschern an der Universität Kapstadt mehr mit den Auswirkungen des Klimawandels als mit schlechter Planung seitens der Stadt zu tun. Kapstadt liegt in einer zunehmend trockenen Provinz, dem Westkap, in der sich das Wetter in den vergangenen Jahren dramatisch verändert hat. Zudem verursacht das Klimaphänomen El Niño in der Region extreme Trockenheit.

Zahlreiche auf Wasser angewiesene Betriebe wie Gärtnereien und Autowaschanlagen sind pleitegegangen. Auch die Landwirtschaft hat in dieser Ernte-Saison Verluste in Millionenhöhe verzeichnet, sagt Graham Paulse vom regionalen Ministerium für kooperative Regierungsführung. Die Zwiebelernte sei um die Hälfte geschrumpft, die Obsternte soll um 20 Prozent zurückgehen, die Weinernte um fünf Prozent, so Paulse. Rund 50.000 Arbeitsplätze sollen aufgrund der Dürre bedroht sein.

Viele Bürger versuchen, sich von der städtischen Wasserversorgung zumindest teilweise unabhängig zu machen. Sie installieren Systeme zur Wasserwiederverwertung und lassen Brunnen graben. Regenwassertanks sind überall ausverkauft. An zwei natürlichen Quellen am Stadtrand drängeln sich täglich Dutzende Einwohner, um Wasserkanister aufzufüllen. “Wenn es schlimmer wird, ziehen wir weg. Das ist doch keine Art zu leben”, klagt Yusuf Manjee, ein 68-jähriger Rentner, als er zahlreiche Plastikflaschen auffüllt.

Dürresteuer wird diskutiert

Gleichzeitig versucht die Stadt, die Wasserversorgung durch eine Reihe von Meerwasserentsalzungsanlagen, Wasserrückgewinnung und Grundwasserentnahmen zu verbessern. Zwischen Februar und Juli sollen dadurch insgesamt 144 Millionen Liter Wasser gewonnen werden. Auch ist in vielen Stadtteilen der Wasserdruck reduziert worden, um den Verbrauch zu senken. Ab Februar erwägt die Stadt die Einführung einer “Dürresteuer”, die Hauseigentümern je nach Immobilienwert eine gestaffelte Zulage abverlangt. Auf diesem Wege will de Lille über die nächsten vier Jahre umgerechnet 260 Millionen Euro für die Ausweitung der Wasserinfrastruktur gewinnen.

Bürgermeisterin de Lille sagt, um Wasser zu sparen, dusche sie nicht mehr jeden Tag und komme auch mal mit fettigen Haaren ins Büro.
Doch wenn nicht schnell mehr Wasser gespart wird, könnte sich die Stadt mit der “Stunde Null” trotzdem in ein Katastrophengebiet verwandeln.

Quelle: dpa

Surprise and hecticness

now following step by step.

During our vacation we got a SMS from “Home Affairs” to collect the result of our permanent residence application.

We ended our holidays one day earlier and just arrived in time to get our papers before office closing at 15:00.

Richard is now South African resident and I have been rejected. Speechless? That’s what we have been.The next days I had a nervous breakdown and only wanted to go back home. Home to Germany, to our kids and grand kids and to our house. Poor Richard. For sure it was a hard time for him because he couldn’t handle me anymore and was fully busy to prepare all my papers I needed for the appeal and the application for a new 4 years pensioner visa.

Sven brought first time a laughter into it asking: “Dad, what are you doing now? Sending Mam home? Super, she can start immediately as my secretary. And how many women will you have then?”

What happened? Home Affairs didn’t check my application according the requirements valid at the day of handing in my papers at which a certain gross salary income was to proof. Meanwhile requirements have been exacerbated substantially and the regular income is checked net. And this at a day with a very strong Rand – and I was about less than 100 Euro below the threshold.

That’s the strategy, the ordered company explained us and no single case at all: Unfair assessments and rejections because they don’t want white people in the country. Many pensioners demoralized from waiting over years, ill or meanwhile out of financial means for appealing or applying for renewal of 4 years visa. So only few appeal applications come back, what’s in the sense of government.

We proofed again my meanwhile even raised pension and added the rental income of our house. And now I’m well above the official requirements even as net amounts.

And now again: waiting, waiting, waiting! For at least 6 months, consider it 12 to 18 months.

But meanwhile my 4-years-visa has been extended to September 2021.

Richard already applied for his SA ID Card and got his SA driver licence. This reads so easy, but again was a long and time consuming process with preparations of paper at the computer and waiting hours in queues in front of different office counters.

Coming back from holidays, of course none of the agreed, bespoken and promised works on board of Camaheto were done, which gave me the remaining rest. So we started again, as happened two years ago with open construction places. We must try not to bother too much, which isn’t hardly possible any more, as after all I long for a cosy home, not marked by black shoe prints, silver metal shavings or wood chippings, Sikaflex imprints, …

I just try to get on my feet again, play my music, and live a normal routine day. Both of us are still involved with Sea Rescue and I had to do a controllers training the last weeks. Meanwhile I had my first self responsible rescue mission in the control room, lasting from in the morning to midnight. I managed it, could understand all English conversations, write them down, answer and minute them. Work the log books and papers as well as the computer work. I was really proud of myself.

Early this year we again had fierce fires in and around Simon’s Town. The complete mountain slope was a blaze until to the houses. Several families lost all their belongings. We had fear that all our camping gear, stored in a garage at the upper edge from the mountain slope also would be consumed by the flames. A couple of meters away from the plot the fire could be stopped.

Sea Rescue doesn’t help and support only at sea, but also in cases of accidents and nature catastrophes. This time I could accompany a mission direct at the fires to save camping houses. Never in my live I have seen blazing fires like this. Fire crawling up a tree trunk and the complete tree crown explodes. The fire can jump over great distances and starts at another spot a new fire storm.

Even days later I had to battle with tearing eyes. Richard took care those days only of our boat. The offshore wind blew still glowing ashes over the bay onto our boat. Still weeks later we had to cope with ash rain and our Camaheto was covered in black soot.

Autumn and winter is the time supposed to rain heavily to fill again the dams. In the last two years rain was falling more and more scarcely and weaker. Instead of feared mud slides down from the burned mountain slopes due to heavy rain this year we battle with a very special and serious problem: There is no water in our complete area any more! The dams are nearly empty. The last 10% of the dams cannot be used for drinking water as too muddy. After some storms in the last weeks dam levels have risen to meanwhile about nearly 40%, meaning effective 30% for drinking water. Comprehensive water restrictions are in place. Drinking water only for drinking, cooking, washing, body care. Washing water is collected and used for cleaning, watering and flushing of toilets. Outlet pipes from washing machines or kitchen drains were let outside into water barrels to water the garden. Water bottles are placed next to plants into the earth so that the raw water gets drop by drop to the roots.

After our sport training we shower standing in a pot. Water is turned on and off permanently. Water on to wet oneself – water off. Soap and shampoo – water on for a quick rinse – water off. Long showering isn’t possible any more. Richard and I just need one bucket water for us together.

Water on our marina jetty is available only on two days for one hour to top up our water tanks. Our washing machine is now connected to our onboard water tanks and we wash maximum one machine per week.

It will need at least 3 winters with substantial rain falls to fill up the dams.

The last big storm a couple of weeks ago brought again only little water and the strong winds blew the rain away from the dams.

Instead the storm with gusts up to 65 knots caused lots of havoc to the marina. All bridges to the marinas were broken and we had to use our dinghy and outboard to get on land or take during daytimes a ferry shuttle service.

This storm announced the winter season. Temperatures fell by nearly 10 degrees and the mountain tops were covered with white powder of snow. The raise of the dam levels is attributed to the melting of this thin snow blanket.

 

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