The drought and ensuing water crisis inflicted a heavy economic cost on both the city and the wider region, in particular the agriculture and tourism sectors. As ever, underlying the economic impact was a severe human toll of financial hardship concentrated on some communities and individuals.
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront, an iconic tourist destination, gives a sense of the damage to international tourism numbers inflicted by the Day Zero messaging. There was, he says, a point where it was realised within the industry that the bigger crisis was the economic crisis caused by this messaging.
Agriculture and related sectors were heavily impacted, with a R5bn production loss, 30,000 jobs lost, and longer-term damage to vineyards and orchards. Better integration between urban and agriculture is called for.
It has become commonplace to focus attention on water as an environmental concern. Claire Pengelly points out that it is also an important economic concern, with costs to employment, growth and development prospects of towns and regions where projected water supply falls short of demand.