PODCAST: Troubled waters — High and dry in Gauteng



The climate crisis is complicated. Colourful Numbers is a new podcast that attempts to tell the stories behind the data, particularly the ones that are important for our survival.

Several of South Africa’s provinces are facing acute water shortages and restrictions so municipal and national water authorities are pleading with South Africans to be water-wise, and avoid filling up pools, washing cars or leaving the sprinklers on. But, in a warming world, in a country plagued by inequality like ours and less than adequate management, these kinds of restrictions are the least of our water worries.

The Mail & Guardian is teaming up with podcasting company Volume to produce Colourful Numbers, a show that takes a look at the data behind big problems in the world of science, the environment and health and tells the stories behind that data that is relevant to you. Each week we will take three numbers and explain what you need to know in a short, sharp podcast.

In recent episodes we have joined forces with environmental scientist Lutfiyah Suliman to really dig into the climate crisis. This week we highlight 3 figures (six, 300 and seven) that give a snapshot view into the relationship between climate predictions and water governance in the Highveld. What are the challenges and how are authorities and experts managing the crisis? What does it all mean in the face of rising temperatures? We will look into figures published in the M&G to find out more, and conclude with why management of our water resources is as important as how much water we have.

While some residents of Gauteng may be highly put out by talk of more stringent water restrictions in December, others may recognise this as nothing more than the same old face of unequal service delivery, deep inequality and an increasingly uncertain future.

You can get the podcast Colourful Numbers sent to you over WhatsApp by putting the number 081 8041274 into your contact list and sending the number a message over WhatsApp or subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts (AppleGoogle or Spotify).

The show is presented by Lutfiyah Suliman and Paul McNally. Produced by Volume, Lutfiyah Suliman and in partnership with the M&G. 

Lutfiyah Suliman
Guest Author

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