- The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (5.58 MB)
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Thursday launched its long-awaited master plan to guide investment in the water sector and facilitate development planning for water resources and the delivery of water and sanitation services to 2030 and beyond.
The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (NWSMP) seeks a resilient and fit-for-use water supply; universal water and sanitation provision; equitable sharing and allocation of water resources; effective infrastructure management, operation and maintenance; and reduction of future water demand.
The master plan sets out nearly 100 key immediate, short-term and future-thinking action steps to ensure South Africa stabilises its struggling water sector, enables access to water for all and preserves the already stressed, valuable and scarce resource.
“We are a water scarce country. We have one of the lowest rainfall averages in the world, coupled with a very uneven distribution. This situation is predicted to get even worse on the back of climate change,” warns Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
“We need to focus our attention and resources on maintaining our current infrastructure, securely guarding water sources and most essentially educating our people on the necessity of looking after their rivers, harvesting rain and caring for the environment,” she told delegates at the launch.
Some of the key action plans focus on reducing water demand and increasing supply; redistributing water for transformation; regulating the water sector; improving raw water quality and protecting and restoring ecological infrastructure.
“Our water security can only be guaranteed by a combination of smart technology, a great game-plan and human capital in the sector,” she says, noting that South Africa can avoid a projected 17% water deficit by 2030 by implementing the NWSMP.
In line with this, the DWS and the Department of Public Works have teamed up to deal with ageing infrastructure and new build projects, along with an intended “war on leaks” to reverse what is a significant waste of water amid extreme scarcity, says Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille.
She adds that government has and will invest in several water resource infrastructure projects aligned to the NWSMP, such as the Lesotho Highland Water Project Phase II, De Hoop dam and Clanwilliam dam, along with various wastewater treatment plants, bulk storage and bulk pipelines projects.
The master plan will also address the “enabling” requirements of the sector, such as the institutional and legal arrangements for implementation, funding requirements and models, monitoring and evaluation models, as well as the creation of effective water sector institutions, managing data and information, building capacity, ensuring financial sustainability, amending legislation where required and enhancing research, development and innovation.
The plan would cost about R898-billion over the next ten years, with an expected shortfall of R333-billion.
The master plan indicates that the funding gap of R33.3-billion a year over the next ten years must be reduced through “purposeful interventions, such as policy reviews, enhanced regulation, implementation of cost efficient measures and proper management of user expectation and demands”.