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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Water Governance Processes Required to Transition towards Water Sensitive Urban Design—An Indicator Assessment Approach for the City of Cape Town

1
Department of Civil Engineering and Future Water Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, 3430 BB Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
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Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3508TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020292
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of Water Management and Governance in Cities)
In the face of water related risks resulting from climate change and rapid urbanization, water resources in South African cities have increasingly come under pressure. Following the most recent drought period (2015–2018), local authorities such as the City of Cape Town are being tasked with restructuring policy to include climate change adaptation strategies to adapt more adequately and proactively to these new challenges. This paper describes an evaluation of the water governance processes required to implement Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in Cape Town—with a specific focus on the barriers to, and opportunities for, those processes related to wastewater treatment, flood risk and the pressing issue of water scarcity. The City Blueprint Approach (CBA) was selected as the indicator assessment approach for this task. The CBA is a set of diagnostic tools comprising the Trends and Pressures Framework, the City Blueprint Framework and the Governance Capacity Framework. This was applied to Cape Town based on in-depth interviews and publicly available information. The analysis revealed that smart monitoring, community knowledge and experimentation with alternative water management technologies are important when considering uncertainties and complexities in the governance of urban water challenges. We conclude that there is potential for Cape Town to transition to a water sensitive city through learning from this experimentation and by implementing WSUD strategies that address water scarcity following the shifts in governance caused by the 2015–2018 drought. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cape Town; City Blueprint Approach; water governance; water scarcity; water sensitive cities; climate change adaptation Cape Town; City Blueprint Approach; water governance; water scarcity; water sensitive cities; climate change adaptation
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Madonsela, B.; Koop, S.; van Leeuwen, K.; Carden, K. Evaluation of Water Governance Processes Required to Transition towards Water Sensitive Urban Design—An Indicator Assessment Approach for the City of Cape Town. Water 2019, 11, 292.

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