The private sector is not necessarily waiting for the city to remedy its water woes. The wine industry, for example, was hit exceptionally hard by the drought. Since then, many vineyards have established state-of-the-art water management systems designed around the concept of self-sufficiency. Tactics include reusing treated wastewater, collecting rainwater, and using elaborate irrigation systems that focus on reducing water waste. Vineyards have also spent heavily on internal research to ensure they are employing the best methods science has to offer.
Even so, Gerard Martin, the executive manager of Winetech, a nonprofit that receives funding from the South African wine industry, feels that at this stage he doesn’t know if either the city or the industry is ready for the next drought. “We are certainly preparing ourselves to address this in the future,” he says.
Joseph Dana is a writer based in Cape Town, South Africa.