Declining water storage levels in Western Cape’s largest six dams. Courtesy Climate Systems Analysis Group
The news that Cape Town had just enough water to last until April sent shock waves throughout the world last month. It is one thing to talk about the world running out of water and another to actually read news that a city would officially run out of water on a particular date. Continue reading
By now, we all know that cities account for more than half the world’s population. Come 2050, it is expected that another 2.5 billion people will move from villages to cities. In China alone, more people that the whole population of the USA today will move into cities by 2050. These are mind-boggling numbers and present a scary picture of the future liveability of cities or rather the lack of it, especially in South and Southeast Asia.
Already, we see how a day of intense rain causes havoc with flooding. The inexorable march of climate change is bringing more intense rain at odd times or no rain at all. The ‘heat island’ effect of cities with bumper-to-bumper traffic jostling for space with humans gets accentuated during times of no rain. Continue reading
Pollution of America’s drinking water is in the news again. 15 years ago, when I saw the Oscar-winning Erin Brokovich, it opened my eyes to the horror of industrial water pollution in the developed world. Continue reading
As cities expand to swallow entire floodplains and coastal areas, often extending even beyond the boundaries of land to reclaim thousands of acres of waters from nature, they are becoming more vulnerable to climate change. Continue reading
Each time a city is chosen for holding an important event such as the Olympics, it transforms the city’s landscape forever. Glittering new sporting venues shoot up along with parks, flyovers, apartments and other structures. The entire city gears up for the arrival of hundreds of thousands of visitors. Infrastructure assumes paramount importance. Suddenly, there is money to build new water/wastewater treatment plants and power stations. Continue reading