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What impact is Cape Town’s water crisis having on the poor?

An extreme drought could make South Africa’s Cape Town the first major city in the world to run out of water. The crisis has already hurt the city’s tourism and agriculture industries and once again highlighted the gap between rich and poor. About 30,000 seasonal farm workers have lost their jobs because of the drought, and more layoffs are likely if rain doesn’t come soon. A city-run campaign – known as “Day Zero” – that counted the days until the taps would be turned off had such a negative impact on tourism that officials were force to abandon it. It did, though, have a positive impact on conservation efforts. But many say that only the wealthy are truly able to conserve or find a solution without government help, which can have a negative impact on those most in need. “The social contract breaks down, if the rich find their own solution and leave the rest to fend for themselves,” Giulio Boccaletti, global managing director for water with the Nature Conservancy, told The Washington Post.

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