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(KSA 3) Water Use and Waste Management  

THRUST 2: Water Supply And Treatment Technology


The provision and supply of affordable and reliable water, of sufficient quality and quantity for domestic and economic (industrial/commercial and mining) activities, remain continuous challenges. Research support for these activities is the focus of this thrust. Linked to water supply is the all-important aspect of the protection of human health. The objective of this thrust is to develop innovative technologies, processes and procedures that address aspects related to bulk water supply, water treatment technology, distribution and water quality.

Current programmes are:

Programme 1: Drinking water treatment technology

Scope: The programme aims to acquire adequate understanding of potable water treatment processes and related activities and to be able to assist in treating our scarce water resources in the most efficient and cost-effective way to an acceptable quality for potable and industrial use. Expected outcomes include improved and more cost-efficient process technologies, increased operational efficiency of treatment plants and an improved manpower training level and knowledge base.

Programme 2: Water treatment for rural communities

Scope: This programme aims to produce innovative and appropriate water treatment and supply technologies and processes that will ensure an adequate supply of safe and clean drinking water for rural communities.

Programme 3: Drinking water quality

Scope: The programme aims to protect human health by ensuring that water supplies are of acceptable quality and standards. Outcomes include improved analytical methodologies, treatment technologies and hygiene practices.

Programme 4: Water distribution and distribution systems

Scope: The programme aims to optimise the quality, quantity and reliability of the distribution and supply of treated potable water to the end-users. The programme has the following expected outcomes: To develop reliable processes in predicting and improving the operational efficiencies in distribution systems, with the purpose of reducing both capital and operational costs. To ensure that the quality and quantity of water is maintained in the distribution system - from the water treatment plant to the furthest end user. To develop innovative methods, tools and processes that will improve system integrity and reliability.

Linkages to Government outcomes

These research results are in direct support of the following outputs under Outcomes 6, 7 and 10 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%

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

  • Output 2: Improve access to basic services

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

  • Output 2: Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, climate change impacts and improved air/atmospheric quality

    • To begin reducing South Africa’s footprint with regard to greenhouse gas emission, the percentage of power generation from renewable sources should increase from 2 000 GW/hours to 10 000 GW/hours by 2014

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