Aug 27, 2012
Govt seeks collaboration with industry to close R670bn water plan's funding gapBack
Agriculture|Engineering|Africa|Efficiency|Industrial|Mining|Resources|SECURITY|Water|Water Services|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Services|Water Management|Water Services|Environmental|Edna Molewa|Fred Van Zyl|Infrastructure
© Reuse this
The funding gap stood at R338-billion over this period, but the Minister indicated that the bill could be lowered significantly by improving water management and governance as laid out in the new water resource plan.
The department aimed to source the funding over the ten-year period from a combination of budget allocations, rechanneling of funds, inter-department collaboration, the national fiscus and various other mechanisms such as co-sponsorships and partnerships with the private sector; however, the funding options were still under examination and a new investment model was being developed.
The department’s initial investment framework covered infrastructure and developments in water management and water services, but has since extended to include, besides others, agricultural irrigation schemes, owing to the extent of the water losses occurring in this sector.
Water Services director and NWRS2 task leader Fred van Zyl told Engineering News Online that the DWA would seek to incorporate commitments by the various industries into the new NWRS2.
The long-awaited plan had received support and commitments from major industry players in sectors such as mining, agriculture and energy to implement water management plans.
Van Zyl said that the department, over the next few months, aimed to source agreements and memorandums of understanding from the various sectors to develop additional chapters to the strategy.
The proposed NWRS2, which aimed to mitigate the protection, use, development, conservation, general management and control of South Africa’s scarce water resources, would be available to stakeholders for a period of 90 days, after which Molewa would finalise the policy and action the strategies tabled.
The first NWRS, published in 2004 and promulgated in 2005, set out the blueprint for water resources management for the first time in the country. The second strategy was anticipated to outline the strategic direction for water resources management over the next five years.
Van Zyl noted that the department and the various sectors would develop individual chapters outlining strategies customised to the industry and would analyse their water footprint, water use efficiency, contribution to the value chain and job creation, as well as the pollution, social and economic impact of each sector.
Some of the sectors had already developed water management initiatives, including establishing water footprints, water master plans and effective and smart water management strategies.
Molewa noted that the mining sector, urban development, industries and agriculture were identified as the main contributors of deteriorating water quality.
“This pollution negatively impacts on the quality of ground water, which at times, is the only source of water for communities in some of our rural areas,” she said.
Currently, the agriculture sector, on which 8.5-million people were indirectly or directly dependent on for employment or income, accounted for 60% of the country’s water use. This was followed by municipal and domestic sectors using 27%. However, the municipalities registered water losses of up to 37% and, where no records were kept, it was estimated that this loss reached 50%. In many irrigation and domestic schemes, losses reached 60%.
The mining, energy and industrial sectors used 2.5%, 2% and 3%, respectively, of the available water in South Africa.
The NWRS2 pointed out that South Africa, which was labelled the thirtieth driest country in the world, suffered from low levels of rainfall, with high variability and high levels of evaporation owing to its hot climate. Further, the United Nations ‘World Water Development Report 2012’ earlier ranked South Africa 148 out of 180 countries for water availability per capita.
Despite the country’s 2 528 registered water-supply dams and expansive investment into infrastructure, the country’s financially viable freshwater resources were almost depleted. The first water strategy pointed out in 2004 that most of South Africa’s water management areas held water deficits.
Further, of the 223 river ecosystem types in South Africa, 60% were threatened - with 25% critically endangered.
Addressing concerns that unresolved water security, water quality and associated water management challenges could restrict South Africa’s socioeconomic growth, the NWRS 2 would focus on the roles played by government, the DWA, catchment management agencies, water services authorities and water boards. However, strong collaboration between industry, government and citizens were required to adequately deal with the water challenges.
Meanwhile, Molewa identified a shortage of engineers, scientists and artisans, as well as adequate leadership, governance and oversight as a “critical challenge”.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
Other Water News
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...