Cape Town water crisis

What if we turn on the taps and nothing comes out? With dam levels at record lows and rain still not falling, this is a serious threat facing a city of four million people. GroundUp did an in-depth investigation of the water crisis.

GroundUp's investigation into the water crisis

Also see:

Useful articles on other sites

The University of Cape Town has an excellent series on the Cape Town water crisis.

Also see:

Articles on Cape Town water crisis

After the drought: Cape Town’s gushing water

Berg River’s sluice open, as dams fill up

By GroundUp Staff - 7 September 2020

When activist journalists withhold the truth to suit their narrative

A response to GroundUp’s article on Coca Cola and the City of Cape Town

By Caitlin Montague - 13 May 2020
Photo of coke bottling factory

Coca-Cola and Cape Town’s sweetheart Day Zero deal

How big business ignored the water restrictions and got away with it

By Steve Kretzmann and Raymond Joseph - 8 May 2020
Photo of child in flooded area

Cape Town residents battle spring floods

Deluge of rain over weekend leaves shacks and roads waterlogged

By Vincent Lali, Masixole Feni and GroundUp Staff - 28 October 2019
Photo of flooded shack

From drought to floods for Cape Town

City says 3,640 structures affected

By Velani Ludidi - 24 July 2019
Photo of desalination plant

Desalination plant ends contract with City of Cape Town

Waterfront’s dirty sea water causes dispute that is heading to court

By Kristine Liao - 15 May 2019
Photo of desalination plant

Dirty sea water brings Cape Town desalination plant to a halt

Desalination plant contractor said water was “40 times dirtier” than expected

By Kristine Liao - 6 May 2019
Photo of sewerage treatment plant

How dirty is the Cape Flats groundwater?

Water in the Cape Flats Aquifer is polluted by cemeteries, waste water treatment works, landfill sites and informal settlements

By Steve Kretzmann - 26 March 2019
Photo of Theewaterskloof dam

Was the water shortage caused by farmers, city dwellers or drought?

We have analysed the data, and can now answer this question

By Piotr Wolski - 19 July 2018
Photo of flooding and shacks

How a woman secures her shack when it rains

Masiphumelele’s informal settlement is built on a wetland and regularly floods

By Thembela Ntongana - 4 July 2018
Photo of flooded area

Shacks flooded after week of Cape rains

Dam levels are rising and Day Zero in 2019 is unlikely, but for hundreds of thousands of people, the rains bring hardship

By Masixole Feni - 22 June 2018
Photo of Cape mountains with alien vegetation

Aliens are greatest threat to Cape Town’s water security

Clearing vegetation above the big dams is affordable and essential

By Jasper Slingsby and Mark Botha - 29 May 2018
Photo of Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape on 24 April 2018.

Cape Town’s dam levels higher than this time last year

Big Six at 24% compared to 19.8% in the same week in 2017

By GroundUp Staff - 28 May 2018
Photo of Theewaterskloof dam

City explains new water tariffs

Higher fixed monthly charge will help pay for new sources of water for Cape Town

By Aidan Jones - 10 May 2018
Photo of Theewaterskloof Dam on 24 April 2018

Cape Town can avoid Day Zero in 2019 - but we’ll have to keep consumption down

Dam levels are almost equal to same period last year

By GroundUp Staff - 7 May 2018
Photo of a dam

BEE farming project strangled by drought

“The dam is now at less than 10% of its capacity,” says farmer

By Aidan Jones - 25 April 2018