The water crisis in South Africa's Cape Town teaches us there's more at play than just rainfall. Disasters like droughts means the issue must be seen from many different perspectives, like politics.
Water is increasingly becoming scarce as the climate changes. There are four changes that cities can make to adapt to water scarcity.
There are a number of myths surrounding Cape Town's drought, one of them being that the city saw the crisis coming but didn't prepare for it.
Cape Town promised alternative water sources with the ongoing drought being declared a disaster. Its main strategy is water rationing but climate models are also being used.
It’s important for the city of Cape Town to inspire residential trust in water restrictions. Without this, the harsh effects of the drought will be exacerbated.
Desalination has been proposed as one of many strategies to deal with the water shortages. But the process is known to be expensive and harmful to the environment.
Early warning signs of a pending drought are difficult to recognise but cities will have to be better prepared for prolonged changes in weather patterns, so that it can respond quickly.
Windhoek can teach Cape Town on dealing with drought. Technology alone is not enough.
There is an increasing demand for water in cities like Cape Town. The current drought exacerbates this. But there are ways to use and save water sustainably.
Building resilience in Cape Town's water sector will require addressing risks like climate change, drought and flooding. Stormwater and groundwater are tipped as potential solutions.