Water Resilience

Building water resilience to strengthen water security

Resilient water systems are crucial for sustainable livelihoods and economic growth. Climate change, environmental factors and population growth are all placing demands on South Africa’s scarce water resources, while institutional challenges prevent effective coordination and undermine infrastructure maintenance. The EDP strengthens relationships among water users and custodians to improve water governance for improved water resilience.

Adaptive governance for the Western Cape Water Supply System

The Western Cape Water Supply System provides water to four million people in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and towns within the Drakenstein, Swartland and Saldanha Bay areas, as well as the agricultural sector. A multi-year hydro-economic study, convened by the EDP and released in 2023, underscored the importance of building relationships for improved decision making, planning and delivery. To this end, the EDP supports the City of Cape Town to convene strategic engagements with water users and water authorities for joint action towards creating a resilient water system for the province.

Connecting Water, Energy and Food to increase resilience

Demand for water, energy, and food (WEF) is increasing globally, driven by demographic and economic growth, changing user practices, and rapid urbanisation. Current models of resource-intensive urbanisation are unsustainable, increasing the risk of interrelated water, energy and food crises faced by cities.

The WEF-Nexus project is a four-year study run by an international, multidisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners to build synergies between Cape Town’s WEF sectors, while ensuring environmental preservation. As one of the project partners, the EDP promotes collaboration and learning exchange between researchers, practitioners and policy-makers working in the WEF sector.