Draft Climate Change Plan
Key Climate Hazards
The figure below shows projected changes in annual average temperatures, highlighting increasing temperatures throughout the district for the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. By 2050, the district is projected to be affected by higher annual average temperatures, which will adversely affect water and food security. Evaporation rates will also likely increase and agricultural outputs may reduce.
Increasing rainfall variability
The figure below shows projected shifts in annual average rainfall throughout the district between 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Annual average rainfall amounts vary across the district. There is uncertainty regarding projected future rainfall.
Increasing storms and flooding events
The figure below shows projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout the district over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Increases in the number of rainfall days are likely to result in an increase in intense storms, and flooding events across the district.
The current delineation of biomes is depicted in the figure below, with the predicted shift in biomes shown in the following figure based on a high-risk scenario. The biomes have varying sensitivities to the projected impacts of climate change which are further exacerbated by issues such as the fragmentation of natural areas and unsustainable water usage rates.
Climate Change Vulnerability
A climate change vulnerability assessment is a way of identifying and prioritising impacts from climate change. The IPCC defines vulnerability as:
"Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change"
Summary of Climate Change Response Plan
A vulnerability assessment lets you identify these adverse impacts of climate change that are most important to your area. The climate change vulnerability assessment process that is used in this toolkit identified the following indicators in the table below.
Adaptive Capacity Comment
|Agriculture||Increased risks to livestock||Yes||Fish, sheep, goats and Ostrich.||High||Sheep and ostriches in Kopanong Local Municipality.|
Sheep, cattle and ostriches in Letsemeng Local Municipality.
Sheep, cattle and goats in Mohokare Local Municipality.
|Low||Department of Agriculture in each Local Municipality.|
Dependent on available water sources.
|Agriculture||Reduced food security||Yes||The whole Xhariep District Municipal Area was recently declared disaster area (2015 - 2016).||High||The District is an agricultural area||Low||Department of Agriculture in each Local Municipality.|
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of High Priority Biomes||Yes||Grassland and Nama-Karoo Biomes (close to Kimberly and Aliwal North)||High||According to research, a large amount of the Grassland Biome will be lost.||Low||The plan might be available at a Provincial level. |
No policies in place for the District Municipality.
|Biodiversity and Environment||Increased impacts on threatened ecosystems||Yes||There are some vulnerable ecosystems in Lestemeng Local Municipality Area.||High||0||Low||No biodiversity plan in place.|
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of Priority Wetlands and River ecosystems||Yes||Caledon River, Orange River, Gariep Dam.||High||People are building on wetlands.||Low||0|
|Human Health||Increased malnutrition and hunger as a result of food insecurity||Yes||Drought condition lead to food insecurity in the District Municipal Area.||High||There are 9.3 incidence per 1000 children.||Low||SASSA - social development programmes, soup kitchens and social grants.|
Department of Health - Dietetic services, health programmes.
People are poverty stricken due to unemployment.
Despite all the programmes available, the need is still high.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased isolation of rural communities||Yes||Roads are inaccessible to some rural farming areas.||High||Rural communities adapt to the surrounding areas over time.||Low||No plans or policies in place.|
|Water||Decreased water quality in ecosystem due to floods and droughts||Yes||Indicator title change: Increase in floods means no water treatment plants (oxidation ponds) will flood, therefore, polluting the surrounding environments, The quality of the effluent will be affected.|
Negative impact on aquatic ecosystems, irrigation and water borne diseases downstream.
There is poor waste management infrastructure and low capacity in the District Municipal Area.
|High||The average Green Drop score of the District Municipal Area is 19.93%.|
Letsemeng Local Municipality is 0%.
Mohokare Local Municipality is 58.60%.
Kopanong Local Municipality is 1.20%.
|Low||Limited finance to upgrade infrastructure.|
Human resources are limited.
Policy does not address challenges.
Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is available but has not been implemented.
|Water||Increased fish mortality||Yes||We do find fish in Gariep Dam as well as most dams in the District Municipal Area.||High||Gariep Dam|
Koffiefontein Fish Farm
Farriesmith Fish Farm
Pietrusburg Fish Farm
Zastron Fish Farm
Springphontien Fish Farm
|Low||Research done and policies are in place by the Department ofAgriculture.|
The CSIR Greenbook has also developed and refined a vulnerability assessment framework by collating relevant data into composite vulnerability indicators. Four local municipality level vulnerability indices were computed and are shown spatially below.
Social inequalities are the factors that affect the susceptibility and coping mechanisms of communities and households. Indicators for social vulnerability attempt to consider the sensitivity, response and recovery from the impacts of natural hazards. The CSIR Green Book has developed a socio-economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the Socio-Economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Environmental vulnerability describes the vulnerability and risk to the natural environment and the impacts on the ecological infrastructure of which surrounding settlements are dependent. The environmental risk of an area includes ecosystems, habitats, physical and biological processes (reproduction, diversity, energy ﬂows, etc). The CSIR Green Book has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the environmental vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Physical vulnerability describes the physical fabric and connectedness of settlements (buildings and infrastructure) and focuses mainly on the conditions that exist before a hazard occurs and the expected level of resulting loss. The CSIR Green Book has developed a physical vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the physical vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Economic vulnerability describes the potential risks posed by hazards on economic assets and processes. Potential hazards can include job losses, increased poverty and interruptions in business activities. The CSIR Green Book has developed an economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
- CSIR. 2019. ‘Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change’. Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change. 2019. www.greenbook.co.za.
- Le Roux, A, E van Huyssteen, K Arnold, and C Ludick. 2019. ‘The Vulnerabilities of South Africa’s Settlements’. Green Book. 2019. https://pta-gis-2-web1.csir.co.za/portal/apps/GBCascade/index.html?appid=280ff54e54c145a5a765f736ac5e68f8.
SANParks. 2011a. ‘CCAB - Current Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/484
SANParks. 2011b. ‘CCAB - High Risk Scenarios - Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/486.