Subgrant: Water conservation and water demand management for municipalities

Subgrant title: Changing Practice, Changing Direction: Building civil society’s capacity to participate in the management of the Olifants River Catchment under climate change through networked social learning

This subgrant falls under USAID’s municipal support initiatives.

This project proposes to institutionalise water conservation and water demand management (WCWDM) as a climate change adaptation strategy in two local municipalities through formal training courses, regular meetings and feedback sessions and provision of templates and guidelines. The project will be implemented in conjunction with municipal staff, political leadership and to a lesser extent the community to ensure maximum systemic and social learning.

The Olifants River Water Supply System provides water for domestic and industrial water use purposes, irrigation, mining and power generation. The system serves more than 3 million people comprising 18 local municipalities and their surrounding rural areas and parts of City of Tshwane metro inside the catchment area and Polokwane and Mokopane outside the catchment.

Earlier studies (DWS, 2015) indicate that the system is under stress and the demand is expected to exceed the supply by 2017. Interventions that will reduce the water requirements include Water Conservation and Demand Management for the various sectors. A reduction in urban consumption of 20 million m3/annum has been set over this period. A saving of this nature constitutes a major adaptation to climate change scenarios where water availability is set to be reduced due to possible changes in rainfall patterns, increase in annual average temperatures with the resultant increases in evaporation.

This project is for the development of a WCWDM strategy and business plan for Maruleng and Ba-Phalaborwa local municipalities. The project will include a detailed analysis of both systems in conjunction with the political leadership and technical staff of the municipalities to ensure systemic and social learning. The WCWDM strategy and business plan will focus on the enhancement of long-term water security and protection, climate change adaptation and catchment resilience through the reduction of water losses, non-revenue water and the improvement of water use efficiency. The final strategy and business plans should enable the municipalities to obtain funding from National Government or other funding institutions