[LISTEN] Risk of drought increased from every 50 years to every 15 years, UCT

Researchers at the University of Cape Town are warning that the recent drought, which saw taps in Cape Town almost run dry, can now be expected once every 15 years, rather than every 50 years as previously assumed.

Speaking on the John Maytham Show, Prof Mark New, director at African Climate and Development Initiative says the research tries to distinguish two types of drought risks.

  1. The risk that would have been there in any event and;

  2. The enhanced risk which has been produced because of human influence on the climate.

What we have shown on the research...is that the risk has increased threefold due to human influence on climate. This is important for water resource planning.

Prof Mark New, Director - African Climate and Development Initiative

The City of Cape Town has launched its water strategy for consultation and within there, they have explicitly said they would like to have their water resource system reliable at a 99.5%. This means that they are trying to build resilience of the water resource system so it would cope with the drought.

Prof Mark New, Director - African Climate and Development Initiative

Click Below to listen to the full interview:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [LISTEN] Risk of drought increased from every 50 years to every 15 years, UCT


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