DWS brings back Blue and Green Drop programmes

8th July 2021 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is relaunching the Blue and Green Drop Certification Programmes to strengthen South Africa’s water quality monitoring system.

A full Green Drop audit and a partial Blue Drop assessment will be undertaken in 2021, while a full Blue Drop audit and a partial Green Drop assessment will be done in 2022.

“The Blue and Green Drop programmes will be reinstated alongside other measures to strengthen the water quality monitoring system. These enhancements will provide a strong foundation for the establishment of an independent regulator for the water sector to ensure rational pricing and effective monitoring of service standards,” said DWS compliance, monitoring and evaluation acting deputy director-general Leonardo Manus.

The DWS last published the Green Drop and Blue Drop reports in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

While Green and Blue Drop audits were done in 2016/17, they were not released to the public and only released to the individual municipalities.

The restart of the programmes followed a commitment by the Presidency to fast-track the delivery of economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela.

The programmes were reinstated by DWS in conjunction with its entity, the Water Research Commission, during a webinar on June 29, and attracted support from water services institutions, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department and private entities.

DWS acting director-general Deborah Mochotlhi said the programmes will help enhance the state of water infrastructure and provide the public with good quality water, adding that, through the programmes, some municipalities will be propelled to ensure the state of wastewater treatment and water infrastructure at municipal level is up to standard.

“The department uses its regulatory and support arms to identify challenges and address them as early as practically possible, ideally before any emergency situation. Therefore, the role of the Blue and Green Drop certification programmes are key in this process and will continue to prove its value going forward,” Mochotlhi concluded.