The Stream, February 21: Cape Town’s Day Zero Moves to July 9 as Residents Cut Water Use

The Global Rundown

Cape Town adjusts Day Zero again, with taps now forecasted to run dry on July 9. Zambia’s cholera epidemic slows, with seven deaths recorded in the past month. A $5 billion water pollution lawsuit filed by the state of Minnesota against manufacturer 3M Co. ends with a surprise settlement. Sea levels could to rise up to 1.2 meters even if global climate goals are met, scientists announce. California considers permanent water restrictions as the state slides back into drought.

“Nothing’s more wasteful than when the rain is falling from the sky and the sprinkler’s on.” –Max Gomberg, a California water-conservation official, in reference to water waste in the drought-prone state. California officials are contemplating permanent restrictions on wasteful water practices, such as using a hose to wash down sidewalks. Many of the proposed restrictions were in place temporarily during the state’s 2013-2017 drought. The New York Times

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – February 19, 2018 “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a snapshot for the start of the workweek. Listen to this week’s edition to hear coverage on Cape Town’s Day Zero, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and other WaterNews from across the globe.

HotSpots H2O: Spotlight on SomaliaLow rainfall is largely to blame for Somalia’s drought, but ineffective governance and ongoing conflict have also played a role.

By The Numbers

4,202 Number of cholera cases reported in Zambia since the outbreak of the waterborne disease in October 2017. The epidemic has begun to slow, with only seven deaths reported in the last month out of eighty-five deaths total. Reuters

0.5 percent Amount that dam levels dropped in Cape Town over the past week. City officials announced that Day Zero has been pushed to July 9, citing low residential water use and a successful water transfer project. News24  

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.

Science, Studies, And Reports

In a new report, a German-led team of scientists predicts that sea levels will rise between 0.7 and 1.2 meters by the year 2300 even if the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement are fully met. The unavoidable sea-level rise will come from heat-trapping industrial gases that have already been emitted into the atmosphere. Reuters

On The Radar

A $5 billion trial, which pitted the state of Minnesota against manufacturer 3M Co., ended with a surprise settlement on Tuesday, February 20. In 2010, Minnesota filed suit against 3M for alleged mishandling of perfluorochemicals, which polluted drinking water in Minnesota’s Washington County. 3M, who denied any wrongdoing, has agreed to provide $850 million for projects involving drinking water and water sustainability. Twin Cities

In context: Non-stick chemicals slipped into water, causing health, environmental, regulatory mess.