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Access to water
The impact of climate change in small municipalities
This case study has been undertaken to establish whether climate change is an economic issue and not primarily an environmental one. It is the argument of this paper that climate change directly impacts on sustainable development through physical and financial stresses. In small towns these resources are generally in short supply and a negative impact on either can adversely affect the achievement of and sustained delivery of services related to the local development goals, specifically the supply of clean safe water. The key objective of this case study is to demonstrate the affect of projected climate change impacts on the local water supply of a small town and the related financial consequences in terms of water pricing and access. While the delivery of basic water services, free for the first 6kl per household per month, is driven by a national development goal, it is incumbent on local government to ensure this right. For this, the local municipality needs to ensure that water supplies meet the consumption demand, present and future. Technical and financial planning are therefore required to ensure that an undisrupted services is provided. The impact of climate change needs to be included in this planning.