Invitation to a public lecture on Can Day Zero be Postponed Indefinitely?

The Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Acience of South Africa invite you to a free public lecture by Dr Kevin Winter of the Environmental and Geographical Science and a lead researcher in the Future Water Institute at at the University of Cape Town entitled Can Day Zero be Postponed Indefinitely?

Cape Town dodged ‘Day Zero’ through a combination of factors such as an improvement in water management, a co-operative citizenry and timely rainfall in mid-April 2018. Prior to this rainfall, surface water storage levels in the Western Cape had reached an all time low of 18% and high risk of failure. Cape Town avoided the inevitable and there is a respite period. Meanwhile the City authorities have drafted a water strategy plan that could make Cape Town more resilient city that is capable of dealing with future hydrological droughts. The new water strategy is based on five themes that aim to improve financial control, diversify water supplies and transform the city to become more water sensitive. On paper the strategy is visionary and progressive. Risk and redundancy are key considerations that underpin the plan but arguably what is missing is the realism of resource constraints and capacity. The plan acknowledges climate change as a long-term driver of water insecurity; however, future plans will need to focus more on improving water infrastructure and asset management, water quality, water demand and governance, and being less distracted by the vagaries of climate change.

About the speaker

Kevin Winter is based at the Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a lead researcher in the Future Water Institute at UCT. He is widely published in the academic literature on urban water management.

He holds Bachelor degrees from the University of Cape Town, a Masters from London University and a PhD from the University of Cape Town in Environmental Studies.

He is a member of the City of Cape Town’s Section 80 Water Resilience Task Team providing research knowledge and expertise in water resource management.

Blog site:

Date:     Wednesday 17 April 2019

Time:    17h00 (Tea will be served from 16h30)

Place:    South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory Road, Observatory*

*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).