Water is a prerequisite to human life and, as such, a precious resource. The prolonged drought in the Western Cape has highlighted the need for urgent action to avert similar crises in the future. The latter part of 2017 and the early months 2018 have been tough for residents of the Western Cape, but thanks to responsible water use and other measures, it looks like the taps will stay on for the rest of the year, provided the rainy season arrives on time. The Western Cape’s water woes have brought home the stark reality that the water supply needs to be carefully managed if we are to avert periodic crises brought on by drought and provide universal access to safe drinking water. Sustainable water sources need to be developed, and water and sanitation infrastructure needs to be upgraded to cope with expanding urban populations. In many parts of the world, hundreds of millions of people still lack access to clean and safe drinking water. A 2017 joint monitoring report by Unicef and the...

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