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Cape Town's Water Crisis: Stanford Water Law Expert Buzz Thompson Weighs In

Stanford Law School Professor Barton “Buzz” Thompson

Stanford Law School Professor Barton “Buzz” Thompson

Feb 6 2018

Cape Town is in its third year of one of the worst doughts in the region's history. The city of nearly 4 million residents is predicted to run out of water in May. What led to the crisis, how will the situation play out, and how might they fix this problem?

Law Professor Barton "Buzz" Thompson, one of Stanford's leading experts in environmental and natural resources law and policy, discusses Cape Town's water shortage and what will happen if "Day Zero" arrives and taps are turned off. He outlines Cape Town's rollout of initiatives to distribute water to millions of residents, and talks about climate change's impact on Cape Town's water shortage, comparing it to California's recent 5-year drought.

Read the full Stanford Law School Blog story


Due to concerns about student health and safety as a result of the water shortage crisis, Stanford's Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) has cancelled its Cape Town program for Spring Quarter 2017-18. Read BOSP's official announcement