Tag: south africa

NatuReS virtual participation in UN Water Conference 2023 – Register here!

UN Water Conference 2023 Side Event: Sustainable Industrial Water Use through Eco-Industrial Park Approaches

Addressing the key theme “Water for Sustainable Development”, this side event will explore how Eco-Industrial Parks can be a key lever for the sustainable use of water in industry. Indeed, Eco-Industrial Parks (EIP) involve the holistic development of industrial areas towards circular economy, resource-efficiency, sustainability, risk reduction and resilience.

UN WATER CONFERENCE 2023 SIDE EVENT: Sustainable Industrial Water Use through Eco-Industrial Park Approaches

Water management is a key feature of the EIP approach, with criteria ranging from increased re-use of water (industrial effluents and rain water) and requirements to develop physical networks of reuse/ cascading of water. Moreover, a key tenet of an EIP is that they must not negatively impact local water sources or access to water by surrounding communities. Thus, all industrial wastewater must be treated to applicable environmental standards and 25 % of the water is required to be reused or recycled.

Water stewardship for more resilient industrial parks

Organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the World Bank Group and GIZ, with the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), this session will feature presentations on activities promoting sustainable water use in industrial areas followed by concrete examples of the implementation of Eco-Industrial park approaches in Indonesia, Bangladesh and South Africa.

UN Water 2023

On behalf of NatuReS, Dr. Faith Lawrence, Country Coordinator for NatuReS in South Africa, will present about “Economic Resilience through Water Stewardship”, sharing experiences from implementing sustainable water management in industrial parks from South Africa.

The session will take place on 20 March, 2023 from 08:00-9:30 pm (GMT-5/NY) | 13:00-14:30 CET.

To register, click here!

South African city uMhlathuze nominated for the Green Economy Change Champions within Local Government Award

The City of uMhlathuze in South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal province has been nominated as one of the five finalists for the “Green Economy Change Champions within Local Government Award” for the initiative on the use of drone technology to improve water management and assess non-revenue water. The aim of the awards is to showcase successful sustainability initiatives that have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented by municipalities across South Africa. The awards are jointly hosted by GreenCape, a non -for-profit organization that drives the widespread adoption of economically viable green economy solutions, and the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

Why drone technology for improved water management?

The city was concerned about high unaccounted for water losses recorded for two suburbs within their water supply network. To this end, the leveraging of drone technology proved to be a viable and innovative solution to help the municipality assess the cause of the increased water demand and losses. Through financial support from NatuReS as part of a contribution to the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP), the city received a drone and had three of their municipal officials trained to obtain a drone license to operate it.

The use of drone technology in the two pilot suburbs revealed that the increase in population was the main driver for increased water demand, and that illegal and unbilled connections were the reason for the high unaccounted water losses. With the information obtained, the municipality can now understand the extent of water losses and improve water supply planning in the respective areas. Similarly, this allows them to deploy the right interventions for reducing demand and upgrading infrastructure to address unbilled consumption. Finally, water supply for communities can be improved.

Arial view, taken by the drone, of one of the communities which formed part of the initiative © Dawid Dirks

Celebrating the Municipal Green Economy Change Champions

The award ceremony will be showcased during an online event on the 12th October 2022 at 10:00, where the winning initiative will be announced. To join the event live, register here. To learn more about the Green Economy Change Champions within Local Government, click here.

We wish the City of uMhlathuze all the best!

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

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

Managing water more effectively in South Africa: Launch of real-time flow tracking tools in the uMhlathuze River catchment

The uMhlathuze River Catchment in South Africa is located on the North-East coast of KwaZulu-Natal. In the past, droughts have posed a severe risk to the catchment. However, recently also destructive floods are threatening the area. Additionally, water quality is a major concern, particularly downstream. Partners under the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) are working together to tackle these challenges in a collective way. However, while it is by now widely acknowledged that an integrated approach to water resource management is needed (IWRM), the success of IWRM has been hampered by factors like limited stakeholder engagement or the lack of integrative decision support systems and tools for good governance of water resources, especially due to a lack of resources and data.

Gauging Stations UWASP South Africa
Gauging Stations integrated in the Flow Tracker/INWARDS Lite. Copyright: AWARD

The Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) supports UWASP`s efforts for enhanced water security in the uMhlathuze River Catchment. On the 7th July 2022, AWARD and UWASP held a stakeholder workshop in Richards Bay for the launch of real-time flow tracking tools in the uMhlathuze River Catchment in support of integrated water resources management. The tools are supported by real-time data from water resources and users to assist authorities in making informed decisions on water management, while supporting stakeholder involvement in IWRM and raising awareness for a responsible use and management of water. The tools, when embedded in a robust and collaborative governance system, can support real-time flow monitoring at gauged stations. This enables compliance water monitoring and early warning systems as part of disaster preparedness and for planning and setting operating rules.

Flow Tracker South Africa
The current desktop version of the Flow Tracker. Copyright: AWARD

The work includes a desktop-based app as an integrated decisions-support system called “INWARDS-Lite” and the installation of additional flow monitoring equipment. It is supported by UWASP management and funding partners, including the National Business Initiative (NBI), WWF, the paper producer Mondi and NatuReS. The workshop brought together stakeholders from, or working in, the uMhlathuze River Catchment to the launch of a draft version of the “FlowTracker uMhlathuze” as well as the decision-support system “INWARDS-Lite”.

uMhlathuze Catchment Visit
Visit to the uMhlathuze River catchment and priority sites for the flow tracker, including the gauging stations. Copyright: GIZ/Lea Derr

Previously to the workshop, the AWARD team, together with UWASP and Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) representatives, visited the catchment and the respective priority sites, including the gauging stations, to assess their status in person. Based on the workshop and feedback of the stakeholders, both the mobile and desktop versions will be refined. The final versions will be available in the beginning of October. The current versions of the tools can be accessed via:


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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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