By the year 2018, the city of Cape Town was in a significant drought that saw their dam water levels fall to such a low that they announced that there was a high probability of 3 million people running out of water completely. This event would be referred to as “Day 0” and the city of Cape Town and its citizens cut their water usage by nearly half to avoid this fate. I have now arrived in 2020 and water use is at the forefront of this cities concerns. Local restaurants, stores, and even residential buildings have signs and reminders to be mindful of water usage as the realistic fear of running out of freshwater weighs heavy on the mind of every Capetonian. This mindfulness has made me much more aware of my water usage and how wasteful habits like long showers and leaving the faucet running are when using limited natural resources like freshwater. I will bring this mindset home with me and hopefully make an impact on my community.
Outside of this resource, Cape Town is extremely dependent on tourism to fuel its businesses and economy. South Africa is a popular destination for international travel as it is seen as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The government of South Africa has invested heavily in protecting one of its most important assets and that is its wildlife and natural places such as nature reserves.
Throughout my time in Cape Town, my mind has often struggled to process the information my eyes were giving it. I will simply say that I have never seen a place as breathtaking. From the white sand beaches of Clifton to the Cape Winelands, Cape Town is a naturalist’s dream and an Instagram model office and the city works hard to keep it that way. I had the opportunity with the University of Cape Town to visit a nature reserve and I can say I understand why they protect these places so vigorously. There is a large environmental focus in Cape Town since its aesthetic pleasure helps to support its economy significantly and this manifests in people falling in love with the outdoors and what it has to offer. Activities like hiking, scuba diving, and safaris are extremely popular and help people experience the beauty this country has to offer.