Water Research Commission’s 40th birthday
The year 2011 promises to be an eventful year for the WRC as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Following a severe drought in the 1960s the then State President appointed a Commission of Enquiry into water matters. The resultant report tabled in Parliament in 1970, emphasised the important role that research will have to play in optimising water management in South Africa and recommended that water research should be intensified and better coordinated.
Following from the recommendation of the Commission of Enquiry, the Water Research Act was promulgated in 1971, providing for the establishment of the WRC, which began operating on 1 September, 1971. Since that time the WRC has been committed to promoting coordination, communication and cooperation in the field of water research. In addition, to wide-ranging research successes, the WRC has achieved the mobilisation and development of research expertise over a wide range of disciplines and organisations. An important spin-off of this latter multidisciplinary and multi-organisational involvement has been a significant expansion and upgrading of expertise in the South African water industry.
To celebrate this important milestone, the WRC is currently compiling a special publication highlighting its impact on and involvement in addressing the myriad of challenges facing the South African water sector. A conference is also in the pipeline to showcase the past successes of this institution and also launch its 40-year special publication.