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Cape Town, a coastal paradise of 4 million on the southern tip of South Africa, is to become the first modern major city in the world to completely run dry.
Time

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Yasmin Dawood is working hard to stick to the limit of 13.2 gallons per day for individuals as this city inches toward possibly becoming the first in the world to run out of water. 

The stay-at-home mom showers quickly once a day with her daughter, keeping buckets in the stall to catch excess water that she uses to flush toilets — when they absolutely have to be flushed.

Her daughter, Asma, 6, wears a special drought uniform that needs less washing, said Dawood. On days when she plays sports, she wears her athletic uniform to school to avoid laundering her regular outfit.

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Cape Town and its surroundings are suffering a severe drought. Three years of low rain levels and an unseasonably dry winter means that average dam levels are hovering just over a quarter full.

The metro area of 3.7 million has less than 90 days’ worth of water in its reservoirs. The countdown to “Day Zero” has begun. The reservoirs would drop below 13.5% and the city must turn off all taps.

Officials had initially estimated it would arrive in April or May. On Tuesday, Cape Town pushed the date back to June 4.

Dawood’s younger daughter Sara, who is 2 ½, gets bathed in a bucket. “If we need an extra shower, we use a facecloth,” said Dawood, 40, who lives in the affluent…