In May of 2014 various climate models projected a major El Niño event on the horizon, the full onset was only later in 2014, dissipating in May-June 2016.
The impact of this strong El Niño in our part of the world led to a severe water crisis in the City of Cape Town for example, with dam levels beginning to decrease rapidly in 2015. Cape Town’s Water Day Zero came very close.
The water crisis had a significant impact on businesses in the area, especially those that rely heavily on water, such as agriculture, tourism, and hospitality. Some of the observed impacts included:
- Reduced agricultural production and income, leading to job losses and food insecurity.
- Reduced tourist arrivals and spending, affecting hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
- Increased operational costs and risks for businesses due to water tariffs, restrictions, and shortages.
- Reduced consumer spending and confidence due to higher living costs and uncertainty.
- Reduced investment and economic growth due to lower business confidence and competitiveness.
Now we face another El Niño but this time with the backdrop of a planet that has warmed by another 0.2°C since 2014/16.
This may not sound like much but these 0.2°C means that extreme events onto us to grow in intensity.
If you are in the Cape Town or Western Cape in general how are you planning for an event that are set to rival the conditions experienced in 2017?
How will the El Niño affect the area you are in? Do you know?