Forecast water shortages are not new. Some have been taken seriously, but most have been ignored as the rants of fanciful soothsayers. It took Cape Town to get to Day Zero to claw its way back to life through improved service performance coupled with demand management. Chennai, in India, was also on the brink and is surviving on intermittent supply. Scores of other cities are similarly placed. Sadly, we lack leadership that both understands the imperatives of sustainable water supply and has the ability to deliver on them.