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(KSA 3) Water Use and Waste Management  

THRUST 1: Water Services – Institutional And Management Issues


The efficient functioning of water service institutions and their viability is key to sustaining water services in rural and urban areas. The focus of this thrust is to address strategic research aspects related to policy issues, institutional reform, regulation, infra-structure management, operations and maintenance, sanitation (stormwater, sewerage and on-site sanitation), water-related competencies and capacity required for the strengthening of water institutions (water service providers, water service authorities, water boards, national departments) in providing sustainable water services.

Current programmes are:

Programme 1: Cost-recovery in water services

Scope: The issue of cost-recovery has been identified as a critical aspect affecting sustainable services. In an environment where genuine poverty affects cost-recovery, this program intends to develop innovative strategies and processes to tackle the problem. The focus will be on generating in-depth knowledge of the problem and testing new approaches.

Programme 2: Institutional and management issues - Water services

Scope: Relationships and partnerships between service providers, both external and internal, are important prerequisites to sustainable water service delivery. This programme’s objective is to generate knowledge and processes that would support this new form of service delivery. Innovative management techniques are a necessity for viable and sustainable water service provision. This programme intends to find innovative solutions to critical problems with the financing and management of essential services such as water supply and sanitation.

Programme 3: Innovative management arrangements - Rural water supply

Scope: The focus of research within this programme is to provide support to water service institutions with special reference to sustainable cost-recovery and implementation of the free basic water policy; key performance indicators for monitoring and evaluation of service delivery; guidelines for sound management of water service institutions and development of effective strategies for promoting an integrated approach to rural development.

Programme 4: Regulation of water services

Scope: Regulation of water services is important for the sector to achieve improved functioning and performance of the delivery of water and sanitation services, to the benefit of the population. Furthermore, it ensures greater efficiency and improved management of the infrastructure and customers. This programme will support, through knowledge creation, the development of an effective water regulatory environment.

Programme 5 : Water Services education and awareness

Scope:  A fully informed community or individual plays a vital role in the sustainable use of water services, which contributes to water efficiency and improved environmental health.  This programme will address education and awareness aspects which contribute to efficient water use, improved hygiene behaviour and sustainable services.

Linkages to Government outcomes

These research results are in direct support of the following outputs under Outcomes 6, 7 and 9 of the Programme of Action of The Presidency as announced in May 2010:

Outcome 6: An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network

  • Output 4: Maintenance and supply availability of our bulk water infrastructure

    • Reduce unaccounted for water from approximately 30% of supply to 18%

    • The establishment of the water economic regulator

Outcome 7: Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all

  • Output 3: Rural services and sustainable livelihoods

    • Scale up government services. The proportion of households with clean water rises from 74% to 90%. The proportion of households with access to improved sanitation rises from 45% to 65%.

Outcome 9: A responsible, efficient and effective local government

  • Output 2: Improve access to basic services

  • Output 6: Improve municipal financial and administrative capability

    • Reduced municipal debt

    • Reduced municipal overspending on operational expenditure (OPEX)

    • Reduced municipal under spending on capital expenditure (CAPEX)

    • Increased municipal spending on repairs and maintenance

Outcome 10: Environmental assets and natural resources that are well protected

  • Output 1: Enhanced quality and quantity of water resources

    • Reduction of water loss from distribution networks from current levels of approximately 30% to 18% by 2014 coupled with encouraging users to save water

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