Neighbourhood responses to drought in the Western Cape

SOURCE: GeoJournal
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Rule, S.Parker, Y.Majikijela, W.Lunga
KEYWORDS: CONSERVATION, DROUGHTS, WATER RESTRICTIONS
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES), Impact Centre (IC), Impact Centre (PRESS), Impact Centre (CC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11444
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15386
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15386

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Abstract

An extreme drought event occurred in the Western Cape when the mean level of water supply dams declined to 28% of capacity in August 2017. Our survey of 240 households and 71 businesses identified neighbourhood variations in response to the drought and to local government restrictions in water usage, and in the methods of adaptation that were implemented to mitigate the impact of the disaster. Whereas water consumption declined dramatically in comparison with drought responses in other contexts, significant variations in attitude and behaviour emerged between respondents of Western Cape neighbourhoods with different socio-economic profiles. Middle class and older households and water-intensive businesses or organisations were more likely to report substantial decreases in water usage and to be critical of official interventions than were poorer or younger households and small businesses.