"Day Zero" - Living on 6.6 gallons of water a day

David Trammel's picture

I'm sure most here on the forum has read about the fact that Cape Town, South Africa is facing an imminent and very real threat that the city of 4 million will soon be out of fresh water for its residents.


From the climate research I've read, the American Southwest is facing a similar fate. Cities like Phoenix and even Las Vegas, could well be out of water themselves in the coming decades.

An episode on NPR this morning, talked about how Winter conditions this year are very much like those of 2012, when much of the United States had a historical drought. Water levels in the soil are even drier than then. Unless we see some major wet storms the next couple of months, farmers will be unable to plant. In the episode a farmer from Illinois said something like "Well if my plants fail then there's always crop insurance." The Federal government paid out almost $12 billion dollars in 2012. What if this administration doesn't?

The article brings up a good point in its closing:

"In the coming years, the failure of government to deal with the impact of climate change is likely to become more and more apparent. At some point, residents of coastal cities will realize that the feds are not going to bail them out when their homes are inundated. When crops fail, there will be no paycheck. And when the tap goes dry, you have to find water."


For Green Wizards it is time to remind everyone the "Law of One is None".

This is an old survivalist rule, which teaches that if you only have one way to provide for a need, you have none if it fails. If you only have the electric stove in your kitchen, as a way to cook food, then if for some reason like a power outage, you now have no way to cook food.

Now if you have an old barbecue and a ready bag of charcoal in the garage, then you have "Two". One way fails and you have back up.

Green Wizardry is all about resilience. Look at the areas of your Life that have no back up, and find ways to add a layer of protection and providence.

Madam Oh's picture

We've lived in a relatively charmed age (globalization had real merits as well as drawbacks) regarding natural catastrophes. If you could get through the inital blow from a volcanic eruption, earthquake, typhoon, etc., help was on its way. That has not always been the case.

Japan has always had an egalitarian mindset, even within a hierarchical structure (leaders somewhat interchangable with followers and expected to be fair). Yet the last time Mt. Fuji erupted, in around 1707, farmers in Gotemba, straight under the ash cloud, starved to death. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/thisday/dec16/last-eruption-mount-fuji/ That means no substatial help reached them for months, and probably people throughout the region were just barely hanging in there. As this is a place it would take me about a day to reach on foot from where I live and a day and a half from Tokyo (then Edo), it really put the hardship of such times into perspective for me.

South Africa isn't quite there yet. I can see people lined up for water trucks and bearing up under what I would know as "camping conditions." If restrictions are too hard on the well-to-do, they'll just leave. The rest will probably succumb to attrition as Greer has described it: harder times, a higher death rate, fewer births, more kids moving away if they can.

In the novel I've written (and still haven't had an opportunity to polish up enough to try and publish), Las Vegas got forcibly evacuated for military reasons and Phoenix and so on withered away, with some oldtimers hanging in there as of 2045.