About the crisis

The Cape Town crisis was a pivotal event in the history of the city that not only changed how Capetonians think of water but also led to the development and implementation of a new water strategy by the local government. The two short films below provide background information on the crisis, followed by links to resources on the event and the lessons learned from it.


In the short film below, CTDRLI co-lead Peter Willis sketches the background, with the key facts about Cape Town, its population, water supply system, rainfall patterns, dam levels, per-person and total water usage, and the 2017-2018 crisis.

In the presentation below, Dr Gisela Kaiser, City of Cape Town Executive Director for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste until May 2018, sets out how the water system works, how the city government responded to the drought, and the new water strategy approved by the City of Cape Town after the crisis.

  • Links to additional resources: