Local governments must improve data collection and communication, engagement with experts and flexible adaptive decision making in order to strengthen urban water resilience and adapt better to climate risks. Effective water management also requires systems of mutual accountability between municipal, provincial and national government.
This paper aims to understand what happened in the Cape Town drought with a view to learning lessons that are translatable to other contexts. Due to the complex nature of the drought only certain aspects are investigated in depth in this paper namely the
After its severe 2015-2018 drought, Cape Town has released a draft strategy for water supply and management in the city and the wider region. But the strategy does not account for the uncertainty of future climate trends, economic activities, population growth, water demand and infrastructure investment needs. The draft also fails to mention the lessons learnt.
Even though Cape Town's drought persists, the city has announced a marginal reduction in consumption restrictions. In Cape Town, as in other cities, resilience challenges are opportunities for transformative growth. Since joining the 100RC Network, Cape Town has prioritized the long-term resilience of both its water system and urban ecosystem.
South Africa's government has confirmed that the national state of disaster that was declared three months ago has lapsed in terms of legislation. Assessments have shown that the drought is entering the resilience phase, which entails improving the identification, funding, coordination and management of resilience-building projects to reduce drought vulnerability.