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Study finds urban water issues caused by excesses of the wealthy

A study is pointing to the excesses of the rich as a major contributor to water crisis problems in urban areas.
Posted at 11:07 PM, Apr 12, 2023

For those who live in cities, their creature comforts are essential — but one study is aiming its findings directly at the excesses of the rich as a major contributor to serious water issues that affect cities. 

A study published in the journal Nature Sustainability found that the socioeconomic, and economic disparities in many cities appear to be a contributor to the issue as much as climate change and expanding populations. 

The study looked at Cape Town, South Africa, and wealth disparities there and found how unsustainable use of water there by the wealthy can affect water crises. 

Eighty large metro areas were studied, and those analyzed have had extreme drought issues and water shortages. 

Researchers see water crisis issues as more caused by social-environmental extremes. 

In the study of Cape Town, while the wealthiestonly represented about 14% of the population, those residents used over half of the water consumed in the entire city. 

Elisa Savelli of Uppsala University in Sweden, who was a lead researcher on the study, said, "Even though we used Cape Town as a case study, the analysis can be applied to every other city in the world that's facing water shortages, or that might face them in the future." 

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