Wine, construction, brewing — no industry can escape the Cape’s water crisis
Winemaker Marlize Jacobs looks out across the parched brown earth that sustains her award-winning vines, surveying the effects of the water crisis ravaging Cape Town and surrounding areas. "It’s the strangest thing — I think vines like to suffer. When the berries are shrinking, there’s more concentration of flavours," she told AFP, describing the impact on her crop of the worst drought in 100 years. The Western Cape has gone without significant rains for more than three years, forcing the city to slash residential water consumption by more than 60%. Wine flavours may benefit, but water-intensive businesses such Jacobs’s farm, 35km east of Cape Town, have borne the brunt of the water crisis. "It’s the fourth year in a row that we have lower production and there is a shortage of wine," said Jacobs. "Water costs have increased by about 100%. We’re absolutely only giving water to keep the vines alive — not any more than that." So perilous is Cape Town’s economic situation that credit ra...
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