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Press Release 
Dr Heidi Snyman  

ESKOM and WRC enter into a strategic research partnership

Recognising the strategic link between sustainable water management and energy generation, the Water Research Commission (WRC) and Eskom have agreed to enter into a strategic research partnership through a Memorandum of Agreement and the formation of a Joint Research Committee.

Through this partnership, Eskom and the WRC will jointly fund and undertake research on topics of mutual and strategic interest covering climate change, water resource availability and accessibility, water quality, operation and maintenance, water conservation & water demand management, technology development and appropriate technology, excess water and acid mine drainage, residue management (ash,  brine and sludge management), ecosystems and remediation and groundwater impact as well as vulnerability & remediation.

As these entities join hands, their partnership will extend toward growing the research capacity pool, encourage skills transfer, mentoring and coaching through the centres of excellence and also identify skills shortages which require focused interventions. Eskom and WRC will also collaborate in implementing research findings from laboratory to demonstration plant.

“In the light of water challenges facing  South Africa, it just makes good sense to combine resources to the benefit of the country. The two entities will now be able to undertake research on topics of mutual and strategic interest while developing and growing adequate human resources in the water sector through growing the research capacity pool and encouraging skills transfer, mentoring and coaching” says Dr Rivka Kfir ,CEO of the Water Research Commission .

Eskom’s Divisional Executive for Corporate Services, Dr Steve Lennon says “Eskom is currently a major user of water and water will continue to be a major resource for our future activities, whether used for coal, nuclear or renewable power generation. In addition our water resources are increasingly under threat due to increasing demand and climate change impacts. As such we need to be innovative in the way we access, treat and use water in future - and I see this partnership as a key enabler to sustainable water use in Eskom into the future.”

“Eskom’s capacity expansion projects will add 12 300MW of additional generating and transmission capacity to the national grid by 2017, enabling Eskom to keep up with South Africa’s growing demand for electricity. The implications of this programme, especially with regard to water will require dedicated effort from all stakeholders. It is therefore critical that as we embark on this joint partnership, we commit to working together for “success in our endeavours,” adds Lennon.

The signing ceremony of the agreement between these organisations  took place at Newton’s 3, Megawatt Park, Sunninghill on 11 November 2010 by Drs Steve Lennon, Eskom’s Divisional Executive Corporate Services, and Rivka Kfir, Chief Executive of the WRC.

Contact: Hlengiwe Cele Tel: 012 330 0340 or hlengiwec@wrc.org.za

Dr  Steve Lennon, Eskom’s Divisional Executive Corporate Services, and  Dr Rivka Kfir, Chief Executive of the Water Research Commission

The Water Research Commission and Eskom staff members during the signing ceremony

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