Raymond Joseph's rose bush is dead, a casualty of Cape Town's ongoing water crisis.

What killed my decades-old rose bush

By Raymond Joseph
By now, residents of Cape Town have grown used to living with the extreme drought that has the city by the throat -- but every now and then something happens that makes the reality of what we are facing very personal. For me, such a moment came last week when a decades-old rose bush in my garden literally keeled over dead, a victim of the drought.
TOPSHOT - A picture taken on May 10, 2017 shows bare sand and a narrow body of water facing the sky at Theewaterskloof Dam, which has less than 20% of it's water capacity, near Villiersdorp, about 108Km from Cape Town. 
South Africa's Western Cape region which includes Cape Town declared a drought disaster on May 22 as the province battled its worst water shortages for 113 years. This dam is the main water source for the city of Cape Town, and there is only 10% of it's usual capacity left for human consumption, at the last 10% is not useable, due to the silt content.  / AFP PHOTO / Rodger BOSCH        (Photo credit should read RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

For the first time in a long time, I'm optimistic

By Raymond Joseph
Driving through a middle-class suburb of Cape Town a few days ago, I noticed about 20 people lined up in an orderly queue on the sidewalk. As I got closer, I saw that everyone was carrying plastic containers, and some even had garbage bins.
Cape Town's main water supply from the Theewaterskloof dam outside Grabouw, Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.  A harsh drought may force South Africa's showcase city of Cape Town to turn off most of its taps, as the day that the city runs out of water, ominously known as "Day Zero", moves ever closer for the nearly 4 million residents. (AP Photo)

A toilet is our best gift in years

By Raymond Joseph
Like many people in Cape Town, I teared up last week as I watched a video of the gates of a privately owned dam being opened to release 10 billion liters of water, a lifesaving gift for our drought stricken city.
South Africa Western Cape Province. People queue to collect drinking water from pipes fed by an underground spring, in St. James, about 25km from the city centre on 26 January, 2017.  Low rainfall in the previous two rainy season means that the Western Cape Province is in the grips of the worst drought in a century, with taps in the Cape Town metropole estimated to run dry in April 2018, unless rains come earlier than they usually do. Dams in this area are 30% full, with the last 10% not accessable.
Photo by Rodger Bosch for CNN
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In my city of Cape Town, there is only one topic of conversation: water

By Raymond Joseph
Popping into my local supermarket in Cape Town a few days ago, I noticed something I'd never seen before -- a long line of people queuing out the door. A woman in the queue told me they were waiting for a delivery of bottled water, as the store had run out of it earlier in the day.


  • Cape Town