A major South African city is about to run out of water

Cape Town, a coastal South African city of 4 million people, is about to run out of fresh water.

After three years of persistent drought, the government is warning that “Day Zero” — when they will be forced to turn off the faucets — will be April 16, 2018. That’s when reservoirs and water sources will hit 13.5% capacity, at which point the city will move most residents to a strict bucket- and jug-based water rationing system.

As Cape Town’s reservoirs of fresh water get dangerously close to running dry, locals are beginning to store water in jugs and fill up at spring-fed taps set up by local breweries. Those who can afford it are boring mini backyard wells to collect private water stashes, and some hotels are investing in pricey desalination plants to make ocean water drinkable.