Post 5: Final Summary

I started this project in response to the water crisis in Cape Town.  As I followed the adjustments that continued to hold off the dreaded Day Zero, I was impressed at the resiliency and determination of the city.  That one of the world’s major cities could be at risk of running dry is astounding, but that people could scrape together a way to avoid what seemed like an inevitable disaster is even more so.  Not to say that Cape Town is out of the woods yet.  With the immediate threat of Day Zero pushed off into 2019, there has been an increase in water usage that could bring that date back closer to the present.  It is important to not fall into the trap of relaxing back into old habits and risk not learning from this crisis or improving infrastructure and systems to avoid a similar situation in the future.

In conducting this project, I was able to determine how I could best describe drought based solely on precipitation data.  I was able to look at the most pressing social characteristic in determining who would be most vulnerable to droughts.  I will be able to combine these two indices and run many simulations to account for uncertainty, and I will use knowledge of what has actually occurred to test the validity of my index.

This project was a great start to launching my honors project for senior year.  I will be using what I learned from this project and my project at Oak Ridge to build a more thorough and comprehensive study of vulnerability in South Africa.  I will make adjustments to this study based on what I learned, specifically looking at more recent precipitation data and other factors that affect resilience like socioeconomic status.  I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to study these aspects of South Africa in such depth, and I hope to continue to study it, and resiliency as a whole, as I progress through my senior year and beyond.



Cape Town dams: Another small victory as midweek updates reveal water levels have increased


  1. pshukla01 says:

    Awesome research on a really relevant topic. I’m curious to see how your precipitation data analysis could be extended to more underdeveloped countries. I think it would be really interesting to view the implications of precipitation big data in those regions as well.

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