Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she has a new reason to hate Mondays. That’s when she gets weekly reports on levels in the dams that supply SA’s second-biggest city, and on how much water its 4-million residents are using. The numbers regularly show that "Day Zero" — when most taps could stop running — will probably arrive in May, a month or two before the onset of the winter rains. "We have to change our relationship with water," says De Lille, who has filled in her swimming pool and stopped washing her car. She spends 70% of her working day dealing with the crisis. "We have to plan for being permanently in a drought-stricken area," she says in her office on the sixth floor of the Cape Town Civic Centre. Cape Town, whose lush, stunning setting induced explorer Francis Drake in 1580 to call it "the most stately thing and the fairest cape we ever saw", risks running dry. The severity of the crisis, brought on by three years of poor rains and surging water demand, is highly unu...

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