Scoping the nexus between climate change and water-security realities in rural South Africa
Keywords:climate change, coping strategies, rural communities, spatial planning, water security
While the global response to climate change has been scant and uncoordinated, especially with regard to providing adequate water resources for the most improvised, water scarcity has become an increasingly neglected phenomenon in rural areas. The long-term imbalance resulting from the water demand exceeding the available water resources has been identified in the literature, with the majority of rural dwellers negatively affected by water scarcity. Using a scoping review technique to explore the nexus between climate change and water-security realities in view of coping and planning mechanisms in the South African context, 246,443 articles published between 2010 and 2019 were collated and reviewed in a bid to ascertain the state of knowledge, study, and focus on the coping and planning strategies adopted by rural communities in the face of climate change-induced water insecurity in South Africa. The identified gaps in the literature indicate the omission of spatial planning principles in responding to water-scarcity issues. This review concludes that, although policy research that links the impacts of climate change in rural communities exists, stronger focus on the quality and quantity issues in the implementation of water-security matters is critical. Hence, the impact of climate change on climate-sensitive supplies available in these rural areas as well as the consequent coping and planning alternatives for rural communities require a more robust policy and spatial research. Thus, as rural communities deal with the impacts of climate change, implementation cycles of water-security measures need to be ensured along with further integration of spatial planning issues in rural areas. Hence, a deeper engagement with spatial planning issues is needed, in order to further mitigate and address the impacts of climate change on water security in rural areas.
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