The impact of climate variability on water and energy demand: The case of South African local governments
Water and Environment Journal
Financial and Fiscal Commission, Johannesburg, South Africa; International Water Management Institute, Southern African Regional Office, Pretoria, South Africa; Gauteng City-Region Observatory, Johannesburg, South Africa
There is a growing need to understand how climate change impacts not only on people's livelihoods but also on the level and cost of local government infrastructure required to provide basic commodities such as water and energy. In South Africa, few studies have examined the impact of climate change on operations of local governments. This paper examines the impact of rainfall variability on municipalities' water and energy demand. A non-linear relationship between water and energy demand and rainfall variability was found. The results suggest that, by influencing the operations and budgets of local governments, climate change is a real threat to local governments. The local governments need to be proactively involved in the efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change. This is particularly important in developing countries where the impact of climate change is more severe than in developed countries, yet adaptation and mitigation capabilities in these countries are weak. © 2012 The Authors. Water and Environment Journal © 2012 CIWEM.
Adaptation; Climate variability; Electricity-related expenditures; Mitigation; Rainfall variability; Water-related expenditures; Developing countries; Energy management; Rain; Climate change; ground water; ozone; rain; surface water; water; climate variation; energy use; local government; mitigation; nonlinearity; rainfall; water demand; air quality; article; biodiversity; climate change; electricity; energy; energy expenditure; energy resource; government; greenhouse gas; gross national product; priority journal; social status; South Africa; water supply; South Africa