Keywords: climate change, affordability, pricing, South Africa, economic impact, equitable water access, small towns, water resources, water demand, development policy, affordable water
The potential economic impact of climate change on equitable water access in small towns: a South African case study
This case study demonstrates that the consequence of climate change impacts on water resources is indeed an economic issue when it comes to meeting projected water demand and ensuring access to basic water supplies. In order to meet the same water demand under climate change conditions as compared with normal climate conditions the investment cost quadruples over the 30 year period. This in turn results in an increase in the average annual unit selling price of the water increasing by 25%. A fundamental shift in development policy is therefore required if equitable access to affordable water is to be achieved.