This is my first new post in over two years. There are many reasons for that, and I may get into that in a future post. As to why I’m restarting – a conversation with an old friend last night combined with a lunch discussion with an actuarial student a couple of weeks ago has inspired me to attempt to, temporarily at least, restart my blog.
I’m going further than just restarting, I’m committing to a new blog post each day for October. Now the reasons for having stopped blogging haven’t suddenly changed, so it’s likely that some of these posts will be short. (And similarly, some of them long.) Since the decision was made last night, I also haven’t though through anything like a full plan for the month. I invite you along to see how it goes.
I’m probably not alone in being slightly more jaded, slightly less optimistic than I was two years ago. A summary of the two years might make its way into another post, more to help me collect my thoughts than anything else.
Cape Town is experiencing an intense, multi-year drought and there is a real possibility of the city running out of water before next winter. I will definitely be blogging more about the vacuum of credible communication and forecasting on this front in a later post. For now, a single-purpose website http://www.howmanydaysofwaterdoescapetownhaveleft.co.za/ is currently proclaims (they update weekly, I think, based on updated weekly reports of dam levels) that we have 151 days of water left and will run out of useable water on 1 March 2018.
For now, the claims of cholera in Puerto Rico have not been proven, but it does feel like it’s only a matter of time. Anyone fretting over drinking water in Cape Town should probably bump diseases such as cholera up their list.
The official position of the City of Cape Town is still “we won’t run out of water”, but there are reasons to doubt this and be concerned. I’m keen to work out objectively what the level of risk is. To that end, it would have been useful to be able to dissect the http://www.howmanydaysofwaterdoescapetownhaveleft.co.za/ methodology to understand how credible their forecast is. This is the entire disclosure of their methodology:
Using our recent consumption as a model for future usage, we’re predicting that dam levels will reach 10% on the 1st of March, 2018.
I’m not losing sleep over their forecast. So for now, sleep.