Day Zero: Will the taps run dry?

In 2019, the citizens of the drought-stricken Johannesburg avoided Day Zero, the time when the water stops running from their taps. They used common sense to fight the crisis, but can the rest of the world learn from them?

Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by most of the United Nations Member States in 2015, Goal Six is securing clean water and sanitation for all humanity.

We need it: the warning signs are everywhere. Mexico City, which was built on top of rich aquifers, is facing drought every day. Approximately 30 percent of the water that the mega city uses is imported over long distances. London and New York are spending a fortune on desalination, as the rising sea level means rising salt levels in their drinking water. The mid-stream of the Ganges River and the population around it suffer from heavy metal contamination.

The list of disheartening examples of depleting water resources is too long. But Gilbert Fossoun Huongbo, President of the International Fund for Agriculture and Development is optimistic. He believes that the citizens of Johannesburg have proven that, even without strict regulations, policies or financial incentives, societies can recognize the danger and change their consumption habits radically. How? Listen to our podcast.

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