As Cape Town's 'Day Zero' looms ever closer, South Africa's Western Cape Government is looking beyond the immediate water crisis, to longer-term solutions that could help prevent a recurrence of current water crisis conditions.
As the quote below highlights, water management and planning bodies in the Western Cape will increasingly be faced with water scarcity challenges as climate change alters weather patterns. However, the crisis currently gripping Cape Town need not become a frequent event. Long-term, sustainable water management will be key to ensuring this.
Recognising Australia's experience in managing scarce water resources, a delegation from the Western Cape Government recently visited Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, seeking to learn from the Millennium Drought experience and Australian efforts to improve sustainability and resilience in water resource planning. The Government is seeking to learn the lessons from Cape Town's current water crisis to inform resilient long-term planning. As part of their Australian tour, Western Cape delegates met with Aither to discuss WaterGuide and related sustainable water management practices.
The Western Cape of South Africa faces significant water challenges in both the immediate and long-term future. To avoid future crises, water resources must be managed and used with a view to long-term sustainability.
As the Western Cape is expected to warm by around 0.25C over the next decade, the likelihood of drought there is expected to increase sevenfold.