Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Climate change: Urban droughts intensify existing water inequality in southern Africa

気候変動に起因する渇水によって、アフリカ南部の都市部に存在する水の不平等がさらに深刻化するという予測を示した論文が、Nature Climate Changeに掲載される。この研究知見は、モザンビークのマプトにおける将来の渇水のシナリオ分析に基づいている。


モザンビークの首都マプトでは、一部の社会集団が受けている渇水の被害が、他の集団よりも著しく大きい。今回、Maria Ruscaたちは、起こり得る渇水の影響に関する社会環境シナリオを作成した。今回の研究は、2016~2018年にマプトで発生した渇水とケープタウン(南アフリカ共和国)でそれまでに起こったことのなかった大規模な渇水(2015~2017年)に関する知見と世界中の都市部における渇水への社会的対応、過去の気候データと将来の気候予測をともに考慮に入れて実施された。



Climate-change-driven droughts are expected to further polarize urban water inequalities in southern Africa, suggests a study in Nature Climate Change. The findings are based on a scenario analysis of future droughts in Maputo, Mozambique.

Several regions including Brazil, California, China, Spain and southern Africa have experienced more severe droughts due to anthropogenic climate change and are at risk of unprecedented droughts in the future. Rapid urban growth in the Global South has also put cities under increased risk of water stress. These recurring water crises are driven not only by climate change but also by how society manages water and responds to water scarcity.

Maria Rusca and colleagues develop a social–environmental scenario of possible drought impacts in Maputo, Mozambique, a city where some social groups suffer significantly more from droughts than others. The authors combine insights from Maputo’s 2016–2018 drought and Cape Town’s locally unprecedented 2015–2017 drought with societal responses to urban droughts around the world, historical climate data and future climate projections.

The resulting scenario shows that a future drought in Maputo is expected to elicit water rationing measures that exacerbate existing water inequalities: chronically water-insecure households will likely be disproportionately affected. Other consequences could include disproportionate burdens on women to find alternative water sources, risks of waterborne diseases and food insecurity.

The authors argue that if the responses to drought do not take into account systemic inequalities, they risk addressing the symptoms of drought rather than their underlying social and structural causes, thereby perpetuating unsustainable and unjust water consumption and management.

doi: 10.1038/s41558-022-01546-8


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