Skip to main content

Net Zero Water – an emerging water use efficiency concept for South African industries   

September 06, 2022

Site visit to the Atlantis Special Economic Zone

Water scarcity is a serious risk for South African industries and businesses. New concepts are needed to improve water security. On the 17th of August, NatuReS South Africa, led by representatives from the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (ASEZ), conducted a site visit to the Atlantis SEZ industrial sites and greater Atlantis industrial area. The visit followed the completion of a joint assignment on the development of a Concept and Process Analysis of Net Zero Water for the Atlantis SEZ. Net-Zero-Water means limiting the consumption of water resources and returning them back to the same watershed, so that the resource is not depleted in quantity or quality.

Site visit to Atlantis
From left to right: Michael Webbster (ASEZ), Amanda Nyingwa (GIZ NatuReS), Kaylyn Jansen (ASEZ), Florenchia Solomons (ASEZ) and Christelle Solomons (ASEZ). Copyright: GIZ NatuReS

For Atlantis SEZ, this means ensuring water resources are collected from sustainable sources and are used efficiently and responsibly, with any produced wastewater being cleaned and reused in that catchment. The visit provided valuable insights about the location of the SEZ’s industrial sites earmarked for further construction, the proximity of the industrial sites to the community and other industrialist, the types of industries that characterize the area, as well as the current socio-economic initiatives the Atlantis SEZ is engaged with.

Prior to the site visit, NatuReS attended the validation workshop for the development of a Net Zero Water Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Atlantis SEZ. The workshop was convened by the advisory Pegasys on behalf of the Atlantis SEZ and attended by representatives from the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa, Atlantis SEZ Community Stakeholder Network, City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership. The Strategy and Implementation Plan builds on the initial Concept and Process Analysis and defines concrete pathways and actions for realizing the SEZ’s net zero water ambitions. NatuReS is supporting this initiative by serving on the project steering committee and providing strategic technical input.

Atlantis SEZ “Working with Nature” project, initiated in partnership with the City of Cape Town, to remove alien invasive vegetation and develop a biodiversity land bank for indigenous plants to be replanted. Copyright: GIZ/Amanda Nyingwa