City without Water

2019, Environment  -   15 Comments
8.10
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Ratings: 8.10/10 from 30 users.

The United Nations reports that over four billion people worldwide are suffering through severe water scarcity. This crisis poses a threat far greater than societal epidemics like unemployment and crime. When our water supply is completely depleted, we lose the ability to sustain ourselves in every respect. The most egregious example of this can be found in Cape Town. The South African capital now holds the distinction as being the first major city to run out of water. City without Water travels to the region to investigate how city officials are struggling to manage the crisis, and how citizens are fighting for their lives in the throes of endless drought.

The situation in Cape Town is dire. Rainfall levels are well below average, and the city's crisis management personnel are imposing strict restrictions on water usage. Residents are relegated to only 50 liters of water per day, or a little more than European citizens use to flush their toilets during a 24-hour period. The wealthy enjoy the luxury of purchasing bottled water to supplement these restrictions.

The impacts of the crisis are far reaching. Reduced water usage means diminished city revenues. As a result, consumer water bills have risen. This places an additional strain on poor families who are already struggling to make ends meet. There's also the worry of dwindling tourism dollars and the increased unemployment rates that follow. Left without sufficient access to clean water, the region is suffering widespread agricultural decay, public sanitation concerns, health-related epidemics, and environmental devastation.

Throughout the film, the filmmakers focus on the daily lives of destitute citizens who are desperate to have their voices heard. A series of city officials, political scientists and others speak to the necessity for an infrastructure overhaul to combat the crisis. Climate change has been a major culprit in propelling this crisis, they claim, but it's not the only one. The country's government and the international community at large have largely ignored the warning signs for many years.

City without Water is a harrowing portrait of an arid landscape, a rallying cry for change, and a wake-up call to other nations who may soon find themselves on the brink of a similar fate.

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15 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Viewer

    Broken Link!

  2. Environmentalist

    That's not a problem about having many children in the families tho or large population, it is more about growing food for animals and eating them. Let's look at some FACTS:
    1) Animal agriculture consumes one-third planet's fresh water. So without raising and killing livestock water levels in our soil would raise.
    2) It needs 2500 gallons(9450 liters) of water to produce one pound(450 grams) of beef. That is because animals are eating very water-intensive grains, so water to grow grains and animal drinks is considered virtual footprint of that meat.
    3) To produce one liter of milk needs 1000 liters of water.
    4) In US raising livestock consumes 34 trillion gallons of water per year.
    5) 82% of starving children worldwide lives in counties where food is fed to animals in livestock systems that are killed and eaten by more well-off individuals in developed countries such as the U.S. and Europe.

    Animal agriculture has the BIGGEST impact on water worldwide. We choose to save our planet or not.

  3. Devil Travels

    A social system that is it's own worse enemy. A society indoctrinated into a dependency mindset. Women unable to control their own population because they receive more welfare for having children. Men who have no penalty for abandoning their family responsibility. A government fixated on an ideology of power, not service. And a world where hedonistic wants outweigh the future of the species.
    The make a paradigm shift in the world requires far too much effort than currently exists. History has shown such shifts only occur when there is a stronger external force. And that external force is never pleasant.

  4. Jackal

    Suggestions re population control are very relevant to the South African indigenous people. But generally, it only seems to work if the females receive the proper education. Giving them work along with education is one way of having fewer children.
    There will have to be another way as well and that is for more and more people to become vegetarians. This applies not only to South Africans but also to every other country in the world, particularly those areas that are prone toward droughts to begin with.
    Digging deeper wells is not a permanent solution. In parts of the prairies the aquifers have gone down hundreds of feet. Many are now hitting salt and have had to abandon farms that were once productive.
    We need co-operation in population control, a turn around to vegetarianism, and less consumption of goods which require water in its production.

  5. Dave

    Solar panels can desalinate water from sea water. Lots of sun in S. Africa.

  6. Volunaryist

    People have faith in rulers (so-called reps) to "protect", i.e., run their lives. That faith is not justified, but they are blind to that fact, which makes them incapable of seeing the fallacy of granting others political power.
    Only you can protect you. Only you are sovereign, not governments or rulers. You can deny that fact your whole life, but you can't avoid the consequences, e.g., war, poverty, crime, and domestic instability. These are the inevitable result of faith in force, in coercive elite rulers. If your house was burning would you stop and pray or take action yourself, e.g., run out and turn on the hose. If the latter, then do the same generally and self-govern.

  7. scubahalo

    There is no scarcity of water. Rather there is a severe excess of human beings. Overpopulation lies at the heart of the vast majority of our problems.

    1. GunnarInLA

      ...agree

    2. Ross Carlson

      Math is clearest and most unrefutable explanation on how unrenewable and limited resources is a disaster when combined with too many people. Short term greed, ignorance, and religious "morality" and medieval dogmas are the reason why too little will be done too late.

    3. Roger Andout

      Too right.

  8. Trav

    Fair enough that water restrictions are in place, but this should never have happened, that is a HUGE failure of the government, they should have had a plan in place. People should not have to worry that water may run out. The fact that these things happen shows how useless we are in planning for change, and how sensitive our society is, it a house of cards.

    Our politicians never want to spend money on things that may not happen, so we only react when it happens, though some issues like earthquakes or asteroids, you may not get a second chance.

    Hell, can you imagine if one day we find out an asteroid is coming, we are doomed, 100% extinct, we can barely solve a water problem when 70% of the surface of our planet contains it? Sadly we are useless species, which can only solve problems in movies and not real life.

    The government should build desalination plants, or perhaps farm precipitation somehow over the ocean? I don't know, but these technologies and systems should be put in place now. Water should be made cheap and efficiently, what is the point of all this technology and progress if we can not even figure out how to do that?

    1. Kathy Huddleston

      whycant the government give out free birth control pills.

    2. GunnarInLA

      ...agree

    3. DOMINIQUE

      Veganism ,and contraception , will save this world

    4. scubahalo

      @Kathy Huddleston. Yeah, right. The government is there to take care of you and give you free ****. And who pays for that free ****? Instead, how about you take a little personal responsibility.