The private sector doesn’t necessarily wait for the city to address its water problems. The wine industry, for example, was hit particularly hard by the drought. Since then, many wineries have established state-of-the-art water management systems geared towards the concept of self-sufficiency. Tactics include reusing purified sewage, collecting rainwater, and using sophisticated irrigation systems that focus on reducing water waste. Vineyards have also invested heavily in in-house research to ensure they are using the best methods science has to offer.
Even so, Gerard Martin, managing director of Winetech, a non-profit organization funded by the South African wine industry, does not yet know at this point whether the city or the industry is ready for the next drought. “We are definitely preparing to address this in the future,” he says.
Joseph Dana is a writer and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.