Written by: Nowhere Does It Better in partnership with Resilient Cape
Cape Town and the Western Cape has recovered from the threat of acute water shortages, which presented as a possibility at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. Today the City and Province’s dams are over 80% full, and collective water consumption is stable at 625 million litres/day, which is within the daily target of 650 million litres. (see latest dam figures here)
The summer period of 2017/2018 was undoubtedly a trying time for the citizens and businesses of Cape Town and the Western Cape, following three years of consecutively low rainfall, resulting in the worst drought in 100 years.
Much of South Africa is arid or semi-arid, and the whole country is subject to droughts and floods. Because of this, variations in rainfall or temperature due to climate change can exacerbate an already stressed environment.
Unprecedented water saving by citizens and businesses
Every day during that period of drought, the resilience of the City and region were tested. Through the heroic efforts of households and businesses, water consumption was reduced by 50% without the reticulation system ever having to be turned off. No city in the world has ever accomplished anything similar, which is a testimony to the quality of leadership and commitment of the people of Cape Town and the Western Cape. The city-region survived, it adapted and is now thriving again.
The impacts of climate change are a global phenomenon. Cape Town and the Western Cape is perhaps more aware than most places on the planet about the need to continually build resilience. The heightened vigilance of the city and regional leaders is an asset that sets it apart from other places in the world.
“While Cape Town and the Western Cape showed a strong capacity for resilience in the face of the drought, it is important that we constantly increase our resilience to a range of future water scenarios,” says Gareth Morgan, Director of Resilience at the City of Cape Town.
Read the full article here