Lessons from Cape Town's water shortage

phys.org | 5/22/2018 | Staff
jesse456 (Posted by) Level 3
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South Africa has always been a country with problems of water scarcity. The ominous Day Zero narrative in Cape Town has brought water security into our daily lives and has made us pay closer attention to issues of water demand and availability. Additional challenges, including pollution, poor management and infrastructure maintenance, wastage and excessive consumption, burden our resources. Schalk Mouton explores how we can learn from the current crisis and turn South Africa into a water-secure country for all its citizens.

We've heard it so many times before. Every time a government official speaks about water issues in South Africa, they mention that South Africa is a "water-scarce" country. However, until the current water 'crisis' fully developed in Cape Town, and the ominous-sounding phrase "Day Zero' became a daily headline in newspapers, few were actively mobilised around water as a valuable resource.

Water - Middle-class - Supply - Water - Situation

Water has always been cheap and, for the middle-class South African at least, there has always been a constant, reliable supply of water. But will such a situation continue without careful risk management and planning?

The current water situation in Cape Town can teach us a number of lessons that could assist us in working towards a more water secure Gauteng – and the country as a whole.

Cape - Town - Scientists - Climate - Variability

"What is going on in Cape Town, scientists argue, is the 'new normal' with climate variability and climate change," says Professor Coleen Vogel, Distinguished Professor in Climate change, Vulnerability and Adaptability at the Global Change Institute. "Although we cannot say with certainty when droughts will occur, projected outlooks are that we could experience more frequent events, such as drought occurring with greater magnitude."

South Africa is a dry country. It has an annual surface water runoff (from rain) of 49 billion cubic metres. With an annual rainfall average of 490mm, South Africa has just over...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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