The southern Cape recently experienced its most severe drought in recorded history. In 2009 it had the lowest rainfall since record-keeping began, 132 years ago.
While it is not possible to attribute the drought directly to climate change, climate models nevertheless predict that droughts like this will become more frequent and more severe. Understanding the dynamics of water supply and demand under such severe stress may yield useful lessons for the future.
Over the course of 2010 and 2011 we interviewed officials, managers, and community leaders in various southern Cape towns to understand how the affected municipalities responded. Download the full report here (985Kb PDF).