Cape Town water crisis

What if we turn on the taps and nothing comes out? With dam levels at record lows and rain still not falling, this is a serious threat facing a city of four million people. GroundUp did an in-depth investigation of the water crisis.

GroundUp's investigation into the water crisis

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Useful articles on other sites

The University of Cape Town has an excellent series on the Cape Town water crisis.

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Articles on Cape Town water crisis

After the drought: Cape Town’s gushing water

Berg River’s sluice open, as dams fill up


Brief | 7 September 2020

When activist journalists withhold the truth to suit their narrative

A response to GroundUp’s article on Coca Cola and the City of Cape Town


Right to reply | 13 May 2020

Coca-Cola and Cape Town’s sweetheart Day Zero deal

How big business ignored the water restrictions and got away with it

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Feature | 8 May 2020

Cape Town residents battle spring floods

Deluge of rain over weekend leaves shacks and roads waterlogged

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Brief | 28 October 2019

From drought to floods for Cape Town

City says 3,640 structures affected


Photo Essay | 24 July 2019

Desalination plant ends contract with City of Cape Town

Waterfront’s dirty sea water causes dispute that is heading to court


Brief | 15 May 2019

Dirty sea water brings Cape Town desalination plant to a halt

Desalination plant contractor said water was “40 times dirtier” than expected


News | 6 May 2019

How dirty is the Cape Flats groundwater?

Water in the Cape Flats Aquifer is polluted by cemeteries, waste water treatment works, landfill sites and informal settlements


News | 26 March 2019

Was the water shortage caused by farmers, city dwellers or drought?

We have analysed the data, and can now answer this question


Science | 19 July 2018

How a woman secures her shack when it rains

Masiphumelele’s informal settlement is built on a wetland and regularly floods


News | 4 July 2018

Shacks flooded after week of Cape rains

Dam levels are rising and Day Zero in 2019 is unlikely, but for hundreds of thousands of people, the rains bring hardship


Photo Essay | 22 June 2018

Aliens are greatest threat to Cape Town’s water security

Clearing vegetation above the big dams is affordable and essential

By and

Analysis | 29 May 2018

Cape Town’s dam levels higher than this time last year

Big Six at 24% compared to 19.8% in the same week in 2017


Brief | 28 May 2018

City explains new water tariffs

Higher fixed monthly charge will help pay for new sources of water for Cape Town


News | 10 May 2018

Cape Town can avoid Day Zero in 2019 - but we’ll have to keep consumption down

Dam levels are almost equal to same period last year


Analysis | 7 May 2018

BEE farming project strangled by drought

“The dam is now at less than 10% of its capacity,” says farmer


Feature | 25 April 2018