Climate change introduces new risks and uncertainties into the planning and management of water supply systems.
Water resource planning under conditions of uncertainty produced by climate change is challenging. Scenario-based planning, adaptation pathways and negotiated cost-risk trade-offs help in decision-making.
The unprecedented drought experienced by the southwestern Cape over the three years from 2015 to 2017 is commonly assumed to be the result of climate change. Is this correct? Prof Mark New, University of Cape Town Pro Vice-Chancellor for Climate Change, gives the scientific view.
Dr Piotr Wolski puts the crisis in perspective, comparing the severity of the 2015-2017 drought with the severity of drought the Western Cape water supply system is designed to cope with.
Constitutionally responsible for the provision of water, and confronted with the potentially catastrophic implications for the city of a no-rain scenario – City of Cape Town Chief Resilience Officer Craig Kesson gives a sense of the pressures and dilemmas decision makers were facing at the height of the crisis.
Western Cape Chief Director of Disaster Management Colin Deiner has participated in emergency operations the world over. Responding to slow-onset disasters entails an additional layer of challenge not encountered with the rapid-onset variety, he says.