Urban Competitiveness, Resilience and Sustainability Nexus: Water Security/Management and Quality of Life in Johannesburg

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Urban Competitiveness, Resilience and Sustainability Nexus: Water Security/Management and Quality of Life in Johannesburg

Dorendra Bahadur Thapa

Bajhang, Nepal


Water plays the great role in social, economic and environmental advancement besides being a basic substance of creature and natures to exist. Globally, the water demand has been increasing due to population increase, urbanization, modernization of agriculture and industries, high demand for energy, mining, recreational. The supply of water is being scared either due to lack of proper management or water pollution, climate change, changing patterns of precipitation etc. The water influences daily life as well as the development of people in other aspects directly/indirectly. The water management is a very broad concept. It consists of various sectors of water management as stormwater, wastewater, flood, drought, surface water, groundwater, coastal water etc. It affects not only public life but also the overall development of the regions. The proper water management heightens the competitiveness, resiliency, and attractiveness of cities with better liveability. The water distribution is even on the earth. Some regions are more facilitated than other in terms of water availability. South Africa is the semi-arid region having low precipitation. Though it has managed the available water resources with maximum use, 15% population are out of safe drinking water in the country.

This study is focused on the water management and QoL of people in Johannesburg. The is based on the desk research method using the quantitative secondary data. The data were collected by GCRO for Quality of life Survey 2015. The survey was conducted in Gauteng province with 30,002 samples.

The research is only focused on the City of Johannesburg. The total sample of Johannesburg were 9,821. The Johannesburg is an economic center of South Africa as the highest populated city. The 94% of Johannesburg have access to drinking water. It influences the public life and their perceptions. The satisfaction of people to safe drinking water affects the QoL of people. In Johannesburg, one out of five is very satisfied with safe drinking water services and three out of five are satisfied. The same margins of people are satisfied with their living standard and life as a whole. This study shows the significant relationship between the water facilities and satisfaction with living standard and life as a whole. The satisfaction with life and living standard affect the QoL of people.

There is maximum use of available water resource in Johannesburg. The 6% of people are out of safe drinking water. The water is being scared. It is not easy to provide the water facilities to that portion of people and maintain the regular water services. The water management affects the QoL of people while the QoL of people affects public perception toward cities. It affects the attractiveness and liveability of cities. It seems better water management contribute to heighten the satisfaction of people not only with water services but also the living standard and life as a whole. It is challenging to manage the balance of water demand and supply in Johannesburg as water is being scared and demand is in a high rise. The Johannesburg must work to smart management of water with advanced technology, innovation of water uses and re-use, changing water use behaviors, and work to enhance the capacity of the human resource, institutions, and water supply system.

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