Day Zero still looms over Cape Town

The private sector does not necessarily have to wait for the city to solve its water problem. The wine industry, for example, was hit hard by the drought. Since then, many vineyards have established state-of-the-art water management systems designed around the concept of self-reliance. Tactics include reuse of treated wastewater, rainwater harvesting and expanded irrigation systems that focus on reducing water waste. The vineyards have also spent heavily on internal research to make sure they are using the best practices offered by science.

However, Gerard Martin, executive manager of WeinTech, a nonprofit that raises funds from the South African wine industry, feels that at this stage they do not know whether the city or the industry is ready for the next drought. “We are definitely preparing ourselves to face this in the future,” he says.

Joseph Dana is a writer based in Cape Town, South Africa.

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