A key strategy identified globally and in South African policy to address growing water stress – especially to climate change – is that of Water Conservation and Demand Management.
Earlier work pointed to extremely high water use in both Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit – some of the highest in the country. This is also true of Polokwane which sources water from the Olifants River Catchment. Whilst leakages are part of the problem, high water use is nonetheless apparent, making WCDM an essential strategy. Thus in collaboration with WRP-CE, AWARD undertook work to support the development of a WCDM plan for both Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit (Mopani District).
Work started in June 2017 with a capacity development workshop for technical staff from the Maruleng and Ba-Phalaborwa local municipalities, Lepelle Northern Water and the Department of Public Works. Further progress includes:
- An important step has been to share water use understanding with the municipal managers.
- WCDM Strategies and Business Plans have been proposed for the two municipalities. These plans combined technical and financial information, for inclusion in the IDPs.
- A schools’ awareness campaign in October 2017 reached 5,500 learners at six schools.
- An information session in Hoedspruit has helped to improve water management practices