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There’s a scene in the dystopian film Mad Max: Fury Road, in which the gruesome warlord Immortan Joe addresses thousands of thirst-crazed desert dwellers. "Do not, my friends, become addicted to water — it will take hold of you and you will resent its absence," he growls. It’s a macabre vision of an unthinkable future — but it’s not hard to imagine at least some echoes of what Day Zero would look like in Cape Town, when the taps are officially turned off due to a crippling drought. The mechanics seem nightmarish: 4m people clamouring to get their 25l every day from one of only 200 supply points. And that’s before health scares arise from not being able to flush away sewage. Picture a queue, 20,000 people long, for every water point. Sure, not all taps will be turned off — those in poor areas and in the CBD will be left on. Even so, it’s hard not to imagine resentment building in Cape Town, especially since it would be the first metropolis in the world to run out of water as a result...

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