Type of Thesis
Dr. Yaffa Truelove
Dr. Richard Mansfield
Dr. Shuang Zhang
This paper analyzes the social and political consequences of the implementation of “smart” water meters in Cape Town, South Africa. As policymakers around the world implement new solutions to ever-growing concerns about depleting water resources, technologies and ideas are exported to other parts of the world before experts understand how these concepts will function in different environments. It is imperative to assess the implications of technological solutions to ensure they are implemented sustainably. This paper employs a qualitative approach synthesizing findings from government documents, personal conversations, and traditional and social media to evaluate the societal impacts of smart water meters in Cape Town over the course of the city’s 2017-2018 water crisis. The methodological framework created for this study can be used in future contexts to anticipate how urban areas will respond to smart water technology. This paper concludes with policy recommendations including a historical assessment of water-related grievances, government engagement with business and civil society leaders, and the potential for a cap-and-trade-like system for water rights.
Guckenberger, Melissa, "Water Pressures and Social Oppression: Social and Political Impacts of Smart Water Meter Technology in Cape Town, South Africa" (2018). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1653.