We report from Cape Town, where the city is in the throes of an epic water crisis.

Severe drought, population growth, overconsumption, poor infrastructure, and years of mismanagement have depleted Cape Town’s water supply. Morgana Wingard/Getty Images

February 20, 2018

Cape Town, South Africa is in the throes of an epic water crisis. Severe drought, population growth, overconsumption, poor infrastructure, and years of mismanagement have depleted the water supply, and the city is fast approaching “Day Zero”, the day people’s taps will be turned off.

emerge85 editor-in-chief Joseph Dana, who recently moved to Cape Town, reflects on life in a city on the brink of running out of water, and visits a spring where an informal economy and community has formed around water collection. He also talks with Marelise van der Merwe, a reporter for the South African newspaper the Daily Maverick, about the political turmoil behind the water crisis, and how it has revealed deep and longstanding inequalities in the city.

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