Last year, Cape Town recorded its driest year since 1933, and the three years to the end of 2017 were also the driest period in those 84 years.
While water restrictions have been in place since last May, the city’s water supply is expected to completely run out by mid-April.
Speak to anyone from Cape Town and you will find they suddenly know an awful lot about how to save water.
“When we get together with friends it’s all we talk about,” says Louise Mullholand.
Her family are using their braai (barbecue) more often so they don’t need to wash pots and pans. They’re also collecting fresh water from a nearby spring to supplement their supply â€” “the queues are a nightmare and there is a security guard to make sure people only collect their allowance,” she says.
Most keen water-savers take two-minute showers over buckets, reusing the water to flush their toilets.
Others avoid washing altogether. Elizabeth Bishop is getting her kids to eat their meals naked.
“Playground dirt and dust, the clothes just get re-worn, but food marks are pretty gross so we just avoid that,” she says.
In an online thread, Despina Learmoth recommended spraying dirty clothes with a solution of water and vinegar before hanging them to air â€” then going out to buy loads of knickers.
“Or just stop wearing any at all!” she says.
Laurian Sachs has disconnected her washing machine from the plumbing and reuses the water in subsequent loads. Once it’s too dirty, she uses it to flush the toilets.