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Eastern Cape towns to start turning the taps off as dam runs dry

News24 reports that two Eastern Cape Towns will start ‘water shedding’ exercises as the dam that supplies them hits crisis levels.

The towns of Hankey and Patensie will have their water cut off from  04:30 to 08:00 and then from 16:00 to 20:00 on most days of the week.

They will however get Wednesday’s and Saturday’s as ‘washing days’ – during which the hours water will be available will be 04:30 to 11:00, and then again from 16:00 to 20:00.

My Take

One of the issues with this decision is that the infrastructure is not designed for it. For example to some extent water pressure is used to keep the water in pipes clean – when the water gets shut off, soil starts to pour in, reducing water quality.

The big thing is climate change is happening. It is important to note that South Africa’s always been prone to droughts, and climate models in general predict that we’ll be facing more of that kind of thing in the future.

Right now Donald Trump is in charge in America, and his environmental policy has always been to deregulate and weaken standards on things like air pollution. Part of his election campaigning was promising to protect the jobs of coal miners.

And in all honesty Trump is just the latest in a long line of American obstructions to global action on the climate. So long as America plays a key role in these things, nothing’s going to happen to prevent the worst of what climate change is going to bring us.

We’re already seeing long predicted consequences for climate change, and we’re seeing the fact that globally its not going to stop happening, there just isn’t the political will to do it.

So we should be very publicly discussing how we’re going to cope with it. At this point we need to be talking about how to adapt.

We should be setting up research programs that hire graduates to figure out how we can mitigate the issues that this new climate is going to bring. Part of what we need is to stop thinking like a former colony.

This is not decolonisation. Decolonisation is a concept pushed by Western universities and PR companies to keep us resentful and limited. It demands we dismantle institutions so that we have to do from scratch what our competitors are already fully geared for, it demands we limit ourselves to our borders while the West does no such thing.

The discoveries we make they can take, meanwhile we are supposed to, out of some sense of chauvinism, reject what they discover.

Decolonisation is the promise of an unequal trade of intellectual goods going into the future dressed up as anger over the past.

We shouldn’t be reliant on the West for our science, and we shouldn’t be hostile to it either.

What they discover we can use, but we shouldn’t rely on them discovering stuff, we should fund and direct our own research.

Put aside all fear, hate and resentment, that which encourages us not to do what needs to be done, and we can do it. We can use the world’s knowledge to discover our own, to build something greater.

And the first step in that is addressing our needs on climate change. It is time for us to discuss water, to discuss the science of water, and to come up with plans to manage our water going forward.

This is our problem, and it is not going to go away. We need solutions, and the rest of the world has no real intentions of providing them for us. That leaves finding the solutions to us.

  • Picture courtesy of fxxu via pixabay.
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