GWPSA to join South African stakeholders in “Saving Water is Everybody’s business” dialogue hosted by DWA

GWPSA will participate in a panel discussion and make a presentation on “Sharing of experiences on successful Water Conservation and Demand Management Programmes in other countries”. The discussion is a part of the sector policy dialogue on Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WDM) that will be hosted by the Policy Unit under the Department of Water Services, South Africa, and will be held on Wednesday 16th March, 2016 in Pretoria.

GWPSA has been involved in promoting regional WDM perspectives and initiatives over the last years. Key being the 3 regional SIDA supported phases, of which the last phase ended in 2010. Currently, GWPSA is supporting the Limpopo basin WDM component in the RESILIM project, a recent work in progress. The presentation will however look at GWPSA's involvement in all three phases of the SIDA funded regional Water Demand Management project, and in particular the 3rd phase through the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which ended in 2012. The SIDA -Development Bank of Southern Africa project experience is a good case that enriched GWPSA’s efforts in pursuing no/low regret investments, such as Water Demand Management in the Water Climate and Development Programme, and helped strengthen GWPSA’s relationships with key Partners such as development banks, and helped bring better understanding of the challenges in the water utilities.

In an effort to strengthen the Department of Water and Sanitation’s policy making, oversight and coordination roles by enhancing stakeholder engagements across various sectors, the Department will hold the dialogue under the theme “Saving Water is Everybody’s business” in order to:

  • Raise public awareness around Water Conservation and Water Demand Management
  • Share information and provide an update on the implementation of the Water Conservation/ Water Demand Management (WC/WDM) Strategy for the Water Sector, as well as the National Water Resource Strategy 2 (NWRS-2) implementation plan on WC/WDM.
  • Share lessons learnt and best practices from across the various sectors on WC/WDM.

The Department of Water and Sanitation as the custodian of the country’s water resources has to ensure that water is managed and conserved in a sustainable manner. In ensuring this, the dialogue will focus on identified themes that will assist the department in achieving its goal to manage and conserve water. The policy dialogue will facilitate discussions that will assist policy makers in understanding challenges with a view to inform the required change in the country’s water and sanitation policy landscape. Furthermore the water and sanitation sector policy dialogue on Water Conservation and Water Demand Management is motivated by the current drought impact that has been happening across the country.

Given the above background, the expected outputs and outcomes for the water and sanitation sector policy dialogue on Water Conservation and Water Demand Management would be imply:

  •  A broader understanding and awareness of WC/WDM response efforts and programmes nationally and regionally;
  • Deepened awareness of the National Water Resources Strategy 2 on WC/WDM implementation plan and stakeholder input towards an implementation plan;
  • Expanded network of WC/WDM champions.

Other panel presentations and panellists will include: The role of Public-Private-Partnerships in WCDM implementation (SWPN/GIZ); Support to Municipalities to address water losses (SALGA); Addressing/reducing Non revenue water/water losses (Ethekwini Metro); Support to the Mining sector on WCDM (Chamber of Mines); Sharing experiences on WUE initiatives (ExarroGrootgeluk); Lessons sharing in implementing WCDM strategic actions/initiatives to support water loss reduction (Eskom); Pilot project on fixing water leaks at the assisted municipalities-successes/challenges (SASOL); and Irrigation initiatives to support WCDM or successes/challenges of implementing WCDM actions (AgriSA).