Here is the full transcript of Lana Mazahreh’s talk: 3 Thoughtful Ways to Conserve Water at TED conference.
Lana Mazahreh – Environmentalist
In March 2017, the mayor of Cape Town officially declared Cape Town a local disaster, as it had less than four months left of usable water. Residents were restricted to 100 liters of water per person, per day.
But what does that really mean? With 100 liters of water per day, you can take a five-minute shower, wash your face twice and probably flush the toilet about five times. You still didn’t brush your teeth, you didn’t do laundry, and you definitely didn’t water your plants. You, unfortunately, didn’t wash your hands after those five toilet flushes. And you didn’t even take a sip of water. The mayor described this as that it means a new relationship with water.
Today, seven months later, I can share two things about my second home with you. First: Cape Town hasn’t run out of water just yet. But as of September 3rd, the hundred-liter limit dropped to 87 liters. The mayor defined the city’s new normal as one of permanent drought.
Second: what’s happening in Cape Town is pretty much coming to many other cities and countries in the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, excluding countries that we don’t have data for, less than five percent of the world’s population is living in a country that has more water today than it did 20 years ago.