Africa

Cape Town's water crisis

Updated 6:32 AM ET, Tue February 20, 2018
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Low water levels are seen at a major dam in a suburb of Cape Town on February 16. For the past three years, Cape Town has been enduring its worst drought in a century. The city of 4 million people has had to implement emergency water restrictions to preserve what it has left. Kyodo News/Sipa USA
A woman collects water in a settlement near Cape Town on Friday, February 2. Bram Janssen/AP
Residents queue to fill containers from a source of natural spring water in Cape Town, South Africa, February 2. The drought-hit city introduced new water restrictions in an attempt to avoid what it calls "Day Zero," the day in mid-April when it might have to turn off most taps. Bram Janssen/AP
A man in Cape Town, South Africa, carries water from a natural spring on Thursday, February 1. Bram Janssen/AP
A police officer controls water collection on February 1. Bram Janssen/AP
A woman waits to collect water on February 1. Bram Janssen/AP
People collect water on February 1. Bram Janssen/AP
Cape Town residents fill water containers on February 1. Halden Krog/AP
On January 26, dead trees are seen at a dam near Grabouw, South Africa, which is about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the center of Cape Town. Rodger Bosch for CNN
South Africa ranks as the 30th-driest country in the world and is considered a water-scarce region. A highly variable climate causes uneven distribution of rainfall, making droughts even more extreme. Theewaterskloof Dam, Cape Town's main water supply, can be seen lying almost empty on January 26. Rodger Bosch for CNN
The Western Cape, one of the country's nine provinces and home to Cape Town, experiences its annual rainy season during the winter months (June-September). The water in Theewaterskloof Dam, seen here on January 26, is running low with half the summer season still to go. Rodger Bosch for CNN
People line up to collect water from a natural spring outlet in Cape Town on Tuesday, January 23. AP
Cape Town's main water supply, from the Theewaterskloof dam outside Grabouw, is seen drying up on January 23. AP
A communal tap runs as people collect water in an informal settlement near Cape Town on January 23. AP