The water crisis is a major threat globally and every indication shows that it will be devastating in the future. Global warming, increasing the demand, lack of availability of drinking water are some of the major sign that shows there will be water war in the near future.
Climate Change is responsible for water stress around the world. Increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall cause drought and influence the demand for water. Simultaneously, climate change also leads to the melting of glaciers and sea-level rise that apparently increases the possibility of floods and other natural disasters.
Day Zero is the situation where the supply of water will stop and the residents would have to be in a queue to collect 25 liters of water per person per day. Cape Town of South Africa is the first major city in the world which went to the severe water shortage.
Day Zero basically introduced to manage the water as much as possible by cajoling water consumers with the strategy of reducing water usage. There were many phases where people suffered and managed the water as tightly as they can. Firstly, It has the strategy to cut off the hospitals and informal settlements the water service was cut off. Meanwhile, the city needs to water supply to residential taps, households, and offices. Except for the critical services like maintain the sewerage system with a minimal flow, for example, to flush toilets.
In the second phase, it will be hugely and impractically challenging for everyone. Site selection is unlikely to be evenly distributed across the city because distribution sites will be based on the existing water supply.
How Chennai and Cape Town faced Day Zero?
The Cape Town City of South Africa has introduced the idea of Day Zero. On this day Capetonians were forced to manage the consumption of the water as tightly as possible.
The city suffered.
The city suffered when they came close to having to turn off the taps.
After better rains in 2018 and a significant reduction in water use across the city, the dams are now reassuringly fuller than they were in 2017 and 2018, although caution is still needed ahead of the winter rains.
How the city managed to evade disaster — a combination of water conservation and efficiency measures, smarter use of data, and a little help from Mother Nature — serves as a largely hopeful precedent for cities globally facing an increasing risk of extreme environmental events. Still, serious challenges in establishing a resilient and sustainable water supply system for Cape Town remain.
Tough water restrictions, plus punitive tariffs, will drive down water demand, helping to postpone Day Zero – or even leading to it being cancelled. Reduced demand is one way of postponing Day Zero. But there are other factors too.
Chennai, the capital city of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and home to nine million people, experienced acute water shortage in June when taps and reservoirs ran dry and water had to be shipped in by freight train from other parts of the country.
Due to an inability to collect sufficient rain water combined with low groundwater levels, the Tamil Nadu state government has been struggling to provide water to residents.
With the reservoirs dry, water is being brought directly into Chennai neighborhoods in trucks. Every day, hundreds of thousands of residents have no choice but to stand in line for hours in soaring summer temperatures, filling dozens of cans and plastic containers.
Risk of Day Zero in Future
By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world’s population living in water-stressed regions.
According to scientists, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, Lebanon, and Jordan will experience high water shortage in the following years.
Some two billion people in 17 countries, or a quarter of the world’s population, are likely, over the next few years, to confront ‘Zero Day’ when taps run completely dry from excess water extraction, according to WRI’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas — a tool to visualize and assess water stress and drought and flood risk covering 189 countries.
Drastic conservation measures have forestalled that moment in South Africa, but dozens of other countries face similar risks from rising demand, mismanagement and climate change, say the World Resources Institute (WRI).
How to prevent from Day Zero?
If current usage trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030. By the year 2040, there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population and keep the current energy and power solutions going if we continue doing what we are doing today.
solutions like increased efficiency, better rainwater capture and reuse of wastewater.