A researcher from the University of Cape Town in South Africa gave a presentation at the Adaptation Futures conference. This conference was an inaugural gathering of international climate adaptation experts and practitioners. Their presentation centered around three lessons learned by the continual water scarcity that Cape Town receives as the rain levels have changed over the years.
The first lesson noted is that the knowledge gathered by the Cape Town officials should be offered to other localities who may not have the resources available to properly combat climate change driven droughts. Infrastructure for groundwater extraction and desalination efforts are complex, broad, and need expertise to deploy.
Cape Town has the capability to sustain these efforts, and would be positioned to offer assistance for other places interested in pursuing similar efforts. Second lesson offered is how collaboration allows for public buy-in, especially for long term and expensive projects that cannot immediately solve the panic that many are experiencing related to everyday water collection efforts.
Finally, it is important for the community to remember that big and small changes can work together to have an overall impact. Those localities with great wealth can afford to install water collection methods on short notice, and smaller and less populous communities need long term planning to access the same levels of capital necessary for the same systems the larger community can afford immediately.