Cape Town, South Africa, is not the only city in the world suffering the effects of extreme drought, BBC reported. The news broadcaster recently profiled 11 other cities facing a water crisis in the near future.
Cape Town's crisis is most eminent, with more than 4 million residents expected to be without water by April 12, according to CNN.
“We have reached a point of no return,” Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said in an addressin January.
Cape Town’s increasing population and poor government organization and planning led to the crisis, among other factors, NPR reported.
Similar issues may plague cities across the world when it comes to their water supply, according to BBC's list of cities. Sao Paulo was listed as the top city, followed by Bangalore, India, and Beijing in China. All three have rising populations and economic development but don't have enough water to keep up the pace.
Miami was the only U.S. city to make the list. Despite the city’s heavy intake of rain water, a decades old project to drain swampland in the area has had the unintentional consequence of allowing Atlantic Ocean water to contaminate the Biscayne Aquifer, which is the city's main source of drinkable water.
“Although the problem was detected in the 1930s, seawater still leaks in, especially because the American city has experienced faster rates of sea level rise, with water breaching underground defense barriers installed in recent decades,” according to BBC.
See the full list of cities imperiled by drought at BBC.
The entire world could soon face a water crisis, as global demand for water will grow nearly 40 percent by 2030, according to United Nation projections. About 2.1 billion people currently lack safe drinking water at home, according to the World Health Organization.
Though not listed on BBC’s list, Arizona is facing a drought that could last for 20 to 30 years, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Arizona's prolonged drought and expanding population have strained Arizona's water supply to its limits.
In fact, about a quarter of Arizona's water supply comes from the Colorado River, which has been facing a crippling drought, according to The New York Times.
Southern California and southern Nevada have seen hotter and drier weather shrink the flow of the Colorado River and the water levels of dams along the river, putting strains on water supplies for those areas that rely on the Colorado, according to Vox.
John Fleck, the director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, told Vox that it's not all doom and gloom.3 comments on this story
"And the reason is that all across the West, when people are confronted with the fact that there’s not enough water, they’ve been really successful at using less. So rather than the catastrophe I’d been led to expect, what I found instead was people working hard to figure out how to adapt," he said.
National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney told KSL that Utah won’t run out of water anytime soon.
“So far we haven’t even come close to anything like what you see in South Africa,” he added. “That’s due to the storage, how the water is metered out and conservation programs.”