This is a picture of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. The picture is an image from NASA generated from a Landsat satellite image and elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). The city centre is located at Table Bay (at the lower left), adjacent to Table Mountain, bounded by the sea on two sides.

In Cape Town, Eyewitness News reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is calling for Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille to step down as a result of the current water crisis. Restrictions on customers’ use of water – limitations on type of use by day in certain geographic areas – has reduced demand, but supply levels are now critically low.

It’s frustrating to know that deployment of oNet would have helped the city deal more effectively with the challenges that they have. oNet can reduce leakage, reduce open tap demand, and provide a tool for reliable intermittent supply. Ideal when you’re running short of water and a great way to delay imposing restrictions on customers, insulating them from inconvenience for as long as possible. Politically useful, if you are the Mayor. The city says it is finalising proposals for further intensified water restrictions which are bound to be unpopular.

A risk assessment and, as the Union says, contingency planning would have helped to ensure that there was drinking water for the people of Cape Town.