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| Cape Town, South Africa Could Become First Major City in World to Run Out of Water
As the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, residents of Cape Town, South Africa, ushered in 2018 - the start of a new year and the start of the city's stringent new water regulations. The Level 6 restrictions came into effect to combat an unprecedented drought which threatens to make Cape Town the first major city devoid of water. The slew of new measures include limiting individuals municipal water usage per day and threatening to impose fines on those who exceed it. They also reduce agricultural water use by 60 percent and commercial use by 45 percent, compared to pre-drought allocations. The drought and water stress across most of South Africa follows a strong El Niño in 2015 and 2016. The weather pattern - characterized by warmer-than-normal ocean water in the equatorial Pacific - resulted in extreme heat and spells of dry weather. Beneficial rain eventually returned in late fall for much of the country, including the drought-stricken western Cape. But according to the South Africa