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Day Zero: Lessons from Cape Town’s crisis

(An interview with Peter Gleick, from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

· Climate change,Water,CommunicatingScience

By Dan Drollette

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Cape Town, South Africa, has been in the news a lot lately, due to its water crisis, labeled “Day Zero.”

But what exactly does the term mean? How did a water crisis like this came about, how bad is it, and is it a portent of the future for other cities? Are major cities expected to be in this predicament—and what can we do about it? Are there any lessons the whole experience may hold for those of us living in other parts of the world?

To answer these questions and more, the Bulletin’s Dan Drollette interviewed scientist and water conservation specialist Peter Gleick, who received a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship for his work on the consequences of climate change for water resources, and the risks of conflicts over water. Gleick helped to define basic water needs and the human right to water—work that has been used by the United Nations and in human rights court cases...

For the full interview with Peter Gleick, go to: