Author: m.t.eiblmeier

A milestone moment for sustainable water management in South African Industrial Parks – Launch of the Water Stewardship SOPs

On 31st May 2022 the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition in partnership with NatuReS launched the Water Stewardship for Sustainable Water Management: Standard Operating Procedures for Industrial Parks (Water Stewardship SOPs). Launched virtually alongside key contributors and partners who were instrumental in the development, namely the Alliance for Water Stewardship, Water Witness International, the advisory firm Pegasys, the South African National Cleaner Production Centre, Free State Development Cooperation and the Atlantis Special Economic Zone, the Water Stewardship SOPs represent a turning point for sustainable water management in industrial parks in South Africa.  

water stewardship
The launch event of the Water Stewardship Standard Operating Procedures in Industrial Parks took place on 31th May 2022.

Managing water sustainably in South Africa’s industrial parks

Through a four-phased approach, the Water Stewardship SOPs support industrial parks, including park tenants, to holistically view their interaction with water, establish actions for efficient and sustainable water use within the facility, as well as at a park level and beyond park boundaries into the catchment. The value of this integrated approach is that it provides a basis for engagement in collective action for the shared management of a common resource. It also offers first level guidance for responses embedded in stewardship to support the journey of industrial parks towards water security.

The water security of industrial parks is fundamentally linked to the catchment conditions in their area of operation. Therefore, it is critical for industrial parks and their associated park tenants to engage beyond their sites through actions which mitigate against shared catchment-related water security risks. By doing so, they elevate their competitiveness, while enhancing the water security of their sites and that of the catchment where their supply chain network and employees are located.

water stewardship in industrial parks
Participants during the launch of the Water Stewardship SOPs. Copyright: GIZ

An internationally informed process

The Water Stewardship SOPs draw from the criteria and indicators within the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s ‘International Water Stewardship Standard’ and from the global Eco-Industrial Park Framework. Integrating these two instruments into the SOPs provides park managers and tenants with the confidence to internalise the SOPs with the knowledge they have already gained from these internationally recognised frameworks.

The launch of the Water Stewardship SOPs is timely, as industrial parks and other economic sites are facing increased nature-related risks and hazards. The launch event was attended by over 80 participants, representing various public, private, and non-governmental organisations active in the South African industrial park landscape, as well as an international audience. The presence of these diverse stakeholder groups underscores the cross-cutting nature of industrial parks and the importance of developing clearly articulated guidelines which aim to foster cross-sectoral collaborations and backstop the participation of stakeholders as they journey towards improved water use and shared water security. 

Did you miss the launch event? Watch the recording here!

The Water Stewardship SOPs can be accessed through this link: FINAL-COMPLETE-REPORT.pdf (

Launch Event: Scaling up Protecting Lake Hawassa Partnership in Ethiopia – join live

The Protecting Lake Hawassa (PLH) partnership in Ethiopia’s Sidama Region was established in 2018 with the aim of mitigating the environmental and social pressures affecting Lake Hawassa. PLH drives and facilitates multi-stakehol­der engagement from private, public sector and civil society to safeguard the lake and its ecosystem, en­suring sustainable economic growth in Hawassa City and the sub-catchment.

A stewardship journey to protecting Lake Hawassa. Copyright: GIZ

NatuReS supported partner efforts throughout these years, recognizing the many successes partners have achieved. These include the collection of 1.2 tons of plastics daily, preventing pollution of the lake, the rehabilitation of 300 hectares of farm and grazing land, as well as the safeguarding and creation of more than 3.000 jobs and 36 million euros in investments.

Stewardship has proven a successful approach to protecting Lake Hawassa! Now, activities will be scaled up with additional funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)-commissioned GIZ-Biodiversity and Forestry Program.

Tune in live through this link on 31st May from 13:30-16:30 EAT!

Launch Event: Water Stewardship SOPs for South African Industrial Parks

The South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition in collaboration with GIZ Natural Resources Stewardship Programme have developed the Water Stewardship for Sustainable Water Management Standard Operating Procedures for Industrial Parks.

The aim of the Water Stewardship Guide as an SOP for Industrial Parks is to embed water stewardship practices, promote efficient water use and value creation in industrial parks. This ambition is facilitated through a four-phased approach which provides defined steps and actions to foster practical ease and seamless internalization across the various levels of an industrial park.

At a time when industrial areas are facing heighted operational risks the SOPs can serve as a lever to support industrial sites respond to their unique water-related challenges.

Click here to join the meeting on 31st May, 09.00 SAST.

awareness campaign

“Let’s be responsible and save our future together”: Awareness Campaign in uMhlathuze, South Africa

Together with the City of uMhlathuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) launched an information campaign with the overarching slogan “Let’s be responsible…” in December 2021. The campaign, which is broadcasted through social media and on GagasiFM in both English an isiZulu, aims to create awareness around being a responsible citizen. This includes focusing on the protection of the environment through using water sparingly and not littering, but also by wearing masks and getting vaccinated to curb the spread of the current Covid-19 pandemic as well as other communicable diseases.

awareness campaign
“Let’s be responsible” Campaign by the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership and the City of uMhlathuze. Copyright: UWASP/GIZ

The campaign will continue and will be rolled out in several primary and secondary schools in the partnership area. The schools awareness campaign will also include the provision of personal protective equipment, including masks and hand sanitizers, as well as bottled water. Besides the schools campaign, a special information sharing campaign will also target up to 500 seasonal farm workers for improved awareness, e.g. on environmental protection. Through the different messages of the campaign, the City of uMhlathuze together with UWASP aim to improve responsible citizenship and awareness around water use, safe communication behaviour and the importance of vaccination in the area.


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NatuReS is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This website’s contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ, European Union or FCDO.

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