Water Research Commission WRC

Pretoria, South Africa

Water Research Commission WRC

Pretoria, South Africa
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Wall K.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Ive O.,Amanz abantu Services | Bhagwan J.,Water Research Commission WRC | Kirwan F.,Irish Aid | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development | Year: 2013

Having viewed the successful social franchising partnerships pilot programme that serviced sanitation facilities at 400 schools in the Butterworth District of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the Amathole District Municipality (ADM) expressed interest in exploring how well the partnership model could empty household pit latrines in its jurisdiction. The impact and effectiveness of the model was demonstrated by the emptying, by five franchisees over a period of only six weeks, of the contents of 400 household ventilated improved pit latrines in Govan Mbeki Village, and the safe disposal of their content. The paper describes the methods and results in removal and disposal of faecal sludge. Problems were encountered, and the solutions (technical, institutional and social) are described. Not unexpectedly, the amount of effort involved in this work - including time, training required, equipment required and ingenuity - varied enormously. The main variables included the type of top structure, the nature of the pit contents, whether or not there was broad consistency of type and contents in an area, distances (between pits, from home base to work site, from pits to disposal site, from location of specialized equipment to work site), logistical delays (e.g. non-arrival of equipment) and bureaucratic hold-ups (especially payment delays). © IWA Publishing 2013.


Wall K.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Ive O.,Amanz abantu Services | Bhagwan J.,Water Research Commission WRC | Kirwan F.,Irish Aid
Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development | Year: 2013

Studies undertaken in South Africa have found that social franchising partnerships for the routine maintenance of infrastructure could alleviate and address many challenges in the management of water services. A three-year pilot project has drawn to a successful conclusion. This provided selected infrastructure maintenance services to approximately 400 schools in the Butterworth education district in the Eastern Cape province. Half a dozen franchisee microbusinesses were created, and of the order of three dozen previously unemployed people were taught workplace skills. Irish Aid funded the concept development, but the franchisees were paid from the normal schools operation and maintenance budgets. Despite difficulties arising directly from provincial education department inefficiencies, the pilot project has proven the value of social franchising partnerships for this kind of work - the department now has a model it can roll out to the rest of the more than 4,000 rural schools across the Eastern Cape. Many opportunities lie in applying the same approach to other operation and/or maintenance activities within the water and sanitation services delivery chain. The time is ripe to further develop the concept so that it can move up the technology ladder, expanding its range of competencies beyond its current tried and tested boundaries. © IWA Publishing 2013.


Hara M.M.,University of the Western Cape | Backeberg G.R.,Water Research Commission WRC
Water SA | Year: 2014

South Africa has over 4 700 storage dams, about 700 of which are owned and controlled by Government. Public dams were primarily constructed for domestic, irrigation and industrial water supply. Over time secondary uses for recreation and tourism have been established. Many of the public dams have been stocked with indigenous and alien fish species, predominantly for recreational angling. Given widespread rural unemployment, poverty and undernourishment, the development of inland fisheries on public dams and natural water bodies has much potential for improving rural livelihoods and food security. There is also potential for inclusion of communities in other value chains linked to economic activities around public dams such as recreational fishing and tourism. The public dams and natural water bodies fall under various implicit institutional arrangements depending on primary and secondary activities on a given water body. These determine the existing formal and informal power dynamics and related decision-making arrangements and controls under current use-right practices. This paper analyses the existing property rights that determine access, co-management options and governance arrangements necessary to promote sustainable development of inland fisheries in South Africa. Attention needs to be given to the various ways of explicit definition and enforcement of property and access rights if communities are to realise the potential benefits from use of public dams for fisheries and other economic activities. Achieving this will require a developmental approach based on principles of inclusive, representative, equitable, accountable and effective governance. Leadership by the line agency - Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - will be critical for success of such an initiative.


Reinders F.B.,Institute for Agricultural Engineering | van der Stoep I.,South African Irrigation Institute SABI | Backeberg G.R.,Water Research Commission WRC
Irrigation and Drainage | Year: 2013

Irrigated agriculture plays a major role in the livelihoods of nations all over the world and in South Africa it is not different. With the agricultural water use sector being the largest of all water use sectors in South Africa, there have been increased expectations that the sector should increase efficiency and reduce consumption in order to increase the amount of water available for other uses. In a recent study on irrigation efficiency, the approach is that irrigation efficiency should be assessed by applying a water balance to a specific situation rather than by calculating various performance indicators such as conveyance efficiency or application efficiency. Unfortunately the concept of irrigation efficiency is frequently misunderstood leading to the widespread belief that water just disappears with low irrigation efficiencies and re-appears with improvements. The purpose of an irrigation system is to apply the desired amount of water, at the correct application rate and uniformly to the whole field, at the right time, with the least amount of non-beneficial water consumption (losses), and as economically as possible. The fraction of the water abstracted from the source that can be utilised by the plant, can be called the beneficial water use component and optimised irrigation water supply is therefore aimed at maximising this component. It implies that water must be delivered from the source to the field both efficiently (with the least volume for production along the supply system) and effectively (at the right time, in the right quantity and at the right quality). Optimising water use at farm level requires careful consideration of the implications of decisions made during both development (planning and design), and management (operation and maintenance), taking into account technical, economic and environmental issues. The South African framework covers four levels of water management infrastructure: -the water source, bulk conveyance system, the irrigation scheme and the irrigation farm. The water balance approach can be applied at any level, within defined boundaries, or across all levels to assess performance within the whole Water Management Area. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..


Naidoo D.,Water Research Commission WRC
Water Wheel | Year: 2014

The recently held National Water Summit has opened the door to the creation of a shared vision for the future of water and sanitation in South Africa. © 2014, South African Water Research Commission. All rights reserved.

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