The Cape Town Challenge

Why Do We Need the Cape Town Challenge?

Here on the Sunshine Coast, effective water management has become a major issue, as the region experiences longer periods of drought and many residents are subject to lengthy water restrictions.

Even in Gibsons, where we benefit from our proximity to the Gibsons Aquifer, we must be thoughtful about our water usage in the face of a growing population and the unknown effects of climate change.

As community members, we urgently need to reframe our relationship with water, and recognize that water is NOT an unlimited resource which may be taken for granted indefinitely.

What is the Cape Town Challenge?

On Sunday, May 26, 2019, Town of Gibsons’ Mayor, Bill Beamish is asking students at our local schools (and all Coastal residents) to take the “Cape Town Challenge” and experience for one day what it would be like to limit daily water use to 50 liters per person (compared to the 250 litres the average Gibsons resident currently uses each day.)

In doing so, our hope is that participants will re-evaluate their relationship with water – by noticing the vital role water plays in their lives, how often they use water without thoughtful consideration of its value, and by integrating new ways to conserve water into their daily lives.

The Inspiration

The inspiration for the event comes from Cape Town, South Africa, which recently endured the harshest and most protracted drought in recorded history – a drought so bad, that the government was forced to contemplate “day zero”, the day the city would shut off the taps and citizens would have to travel to water dispensing points to collect a daily water ration.

In response, the government restricted each citizen’s water use to 50 litres per day and mounted a relentless, multi-platform communication, education and awareness campaign. Their efforts paid off, with Cape Town achieving a world record in reduction in water consumption of 55% in an unprecedented window of time.

Key Resources

Interested in taking the Cape Town Challenge on Sunday, May 26, 2019? Here are some helpful tips for reducing water usage, as well as a simple Water Use Calculator, which can help you measure and track how much water you use in a day.

Water-Saving Tips:

Water Use Calculator:
Use this handy tool (click on icon below) to measure and track your daily water use.

We’ve also set up a water display, complete with free, 3-minute shower timers, in Gibsons’ Town Hall foyer. Stop by during the month of May and check it out!