The city of Cape Town in South Africa has been celebrated for its water resilience during the 2018 Day Zero water crisis.
The city’s water management effort was recognized at the recently concluded W12 Framework Conference held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
The W12 Framework Conference which took place ahead of the W12 Congress – schedules for May – was to recognize and honor the city of Cape town for averting “Day Zero” in 2018 and managing the water crisis in a manner never seen before.
Day Zero is the day when a region’s or city’s water supply runs dry.
The city’s experience provides an opportunity to capture some of the valuable perspectives and experiences from the various participants as the crisis played out.
“Two years on from that crisis, the W12 Congress now provides a platform for the different roles, responsibilities, and responses to be analysed in a way that helps citizens, businesses, and city governments better understand how complicated the process of urban water management and climate change adaptation is and how to adequately prepare for future city-level water crises, ” a statement from the conference organisers read.
According to Shelley Humphreys, executive director of SOSNPO, the South African water NPO behind the event, the costs and consequences of inaction on water are colossal, both in economic and human terms.
“I am confident that, with the best information at our fingertips, political will, financing, and some time, we can deliver Better Water Policies and solutions for Better Lives,” She said adding that The W12 congress is a meeting of the best water minds from across the globe.
The key lessons to be learned from the Cape Town crisis include government and local authorities improving data collection and communication, engaging with experts and enabling flexible adaptive decision making.
The framework which is the basis for the Major Cities Best Practices Water Protocol, was created by a contingent of dozens of professionals from academia, business, civil society, NGOs, local and national government who engaged with leading international water experts and worked together over the last few months.
The event is a collaboration between W12, UWC, Institute for Ecological Civilisation, City of Cape Town and other local stakeholders.
Task teams, made up of professionals from various sectors environmental, socio-political, Socio-economic, technical sciences and civil society, have been established to develop a guiding framework for cities facing escalating water shortages.
The teams will discuss and develop papers into a Water Framework, which will be the basis for a protocol for cities and governments to ensure water security for 30 years.
The main event, The W12 Congress public-facing sessions and exhibition will be held from May 18 to 20 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Former Governor of California (USA), Cultural Icon and Climate Change Activist – Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the keynote speaker at the event.
Article originally written by: @MwangiGithahu