Tempers flare at Cape Town water collection point

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On Day Zero - April 16 - the taps will get turned off.

Householders and traders would be forced to queue at 200 water collection points to collect a daily allocation of 25 litres per person - less than a two-minute shower. These would be guarded by national soldiers and police in case the drought leads to violence.

It is a real photograph, but fans need to realise that an enormous amount of water is required for Cape Town and surrounding areas to live on.

"I think a lot of cities are going to go through challenges like this", Harris said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after the meeting. Everyone needs to reduce their water usage for Cape Town to have a chance to defeat Day Zero.

Nearly 2 million tourists flock to Cape Town every year to bathe on sandy white beaches, explore natural features like Table Mountain or to sip wine in dozens of nearby vineyards. Some diplomats who met with Cape Town officials referred to water shortages happening in their own countries, such as Barcelona (Spain) and California (U.S). Rival political factions are arguing over alleged failures to prepare for the crisis. The authorities now hope for seasonal rains and are working to extract water from other sources and procedures, including desalination.

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"Other effects include threats to public health from poor sanitation and, more generally, to social order, which is significant given Cape Town's marked income inequality", Mazibuko wrote. However, if residents don't save water, they will have no option but to close all taps.

Cape Town is run by the opposition Democratic Alliance party, which says the national government of the ruling African National Congress party has failed to deliver water to all municipalities as required by law. Two trucks are making a delivery to Fort Ikapa military base.

One recent visitor to Cape Town was the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship, which docked in the harbor.

But the city's tourism board has already reported cancellations of previously scheduled trips as hotels drain swimming pools and remove bath plugs from guest rooms. They make up 1 percent of the city's population during peak season.

The harsh restrictions come as the city has pleaded with the South African government to declare the situation a national disaster.