Thinking of paving over your garden to keep down your monthly water consumption? The bad news is that it will probably get worse.  The good news is, Cape Town now has its very own Climate Smart Campaign to help promote and support local climate change initiatives. Launched in March this year, the coalition of organisations and partners involved in the campaign have agreed to work towards proactively positioning Cape Town as a leading environmentally sustainable city, committed to practices that enable the city to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, so protecting and enhancing the natural, cultural, social and economic environment.

This info is straight from their website.

Cape Town is a coastal city highly dependent on power from coal power stations nearly 2000km away. Historically, cheap electricity has meant very low levels of energy efficiency in households and production processes.

Now the country has been hit by unanticipated severe and worsening national electricity supply constraints resulting in the threat of blackouts and sharp tariff increases. Urban sprawl is compounding these challenges and is entrenching social inequities as the poor generally live far from resources.

People remain dependent on private vehicles, and only now are the first steps being taken to replace a weak and under resourced public transport system.

Today, the City faces a triple challenge: a high carbon footprint, poor energy security and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

How does climate change affect Cape Town?  Although the effects of climate change will be wide spread, with everyone being affected to some degree; these are 5 of the most pertinent challenges that will arise as a result of climate change:

Firstly the risk of flooding throughout the city will increase as rain is likely to fall in heavy showers over shorter lengths of times.

This will increase the vulnerability of those living in informal settlements throughout the City, as well as place heavy strain on disaster management and emergency capacities during the winter months.

This will also put pressure on systems such as the storm water system.

Secondly the management of coastal areas will prove challenging. The coastline in Cape Town is long and storm surges and increased swells are expected as weather patterns change.

Thirdly, the city’s transport networks will be significantly stressed in instances of extreme weather events like flooding.

This will create numerous challenges. One in particular is food security as the large majority of the city’s food supply is brought in from surrounding areas.

Fourthly, the hotter, drier climatic conditions will make it difficult for the globally significant and economically valuable biodiversity to survive, which could threaten the city’s resilience – its ability to cope with natural disasters.

Finally, all these challenges are set in a development context, where poverty, limited access to services and poor provision of housing will only further exacerbate challenges associated with expected extreme weather events.

Read more about Climate Smart Cape Town.