Cooperation with South Africa

South Africa is a Water Scarce country with an uneven distribution of rainfall across the country and  a steep population growth exerting pressure on already depleted natural capital and resources exarbarated by changing climate. Ninety-eight percent of all of all water resources are already allocated due to the increasing supply demand and it is predicted that by 2030 demand will outstrip supply by 17%.

South Africa is confronted with serious water challenges such as non-revenue water, skills shortages, ageing infrastructure, shifting demand patterns, overwhelming water supply demand and outdated solutions for emerging challenges. Water distribution is managed via a large number of dams that store this precious water all over the country, and a number of water transfer schemes that move water from one catchment via pumps, pipes and canals into other catchments.

It is acknowledged in many South African policy documents that research, development and innovation and private public partnerships are key in addressing this complex water challenges and to ensure availability and quality of water resources and their efficient use for sustainable healthy economy and communities.

Water demand in progress: 

  • Agriculture (60%),
  • Environmental use (18%),
  • Urban and Domestic use (11,5%) and
  • Mining / Industrial use (10%)


South Africa a full member of the Water JPI:

South Africa joined the Water JPI in 2014 for some specific activities and became a full member in November 2017. South Africa is represented in the Water JPI by the Department of Science and Technology and the Water Research Commission, a public entity established through the Water Research Act of 1971.

Water JPI membership:

  • 23 member countries from Europe and beyond – including Israel, Norway, Republic of Moldova, South Africa and Turkey
  • 3 observer countries – Belgium, Greece and Hungary
  • 5 partner countries associated in joint actions – Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Taiwan and Tunisia


The participation of South Africa within the Water JPI

South Africa participated so far in five calls and also contributes to the JPI knowledge hubs:

South Africa participation in funding Water JPI RDI Projects:

2015 Joint Call

  • IMDROFLOOD – Improving Drought and Flood Early Warning, Forecasting and Mitigation using real-time hydroclimatic indicators - University of Cape Town

2016 Joint Call

  • OPERA - Operationalizing the increase of water use efficiency and resilience in irrigation - Stellenbosch University

2017 Joint Call

  • IDOUM – Innovative Decentralized and low cost treatment systems for Optimal Urban wastewater Management - Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
  • MADMACS – Mass development of aquatic macrophytes – causes and consequences of macrophyte removal for ecosystem structure, function, and services - Centre for Biological Control, Rhodes University
  • NANO-CARRIERS – Micro- and nanoplastics as carriers for the spread of chemicals and antibiotic resistance in the aquatic environment - Durban University of Technology
  • URBWAT – Designing, implementing, monitoring and understanding a grey water drainage and partial treatment system within an urban informal settlement - University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

2018 Joint Call

  • ENTRUGO – Enhancing trust in government through effective water Governance strategies - African Climate & Development Initiative, University of Cape Town
  • EVIBAN – Evidence based assessment of NWRM for sustainable water management - Stellenbosch University Water Institute
  • NATWIP – Nature Based Solutions for Sustainable and Resilient Water Management in the Anthropocene - Faculty AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University
  • NEWTS – Nudges for Economics of Water Tariffs - Economics Policy Research Unit
  • RAINSOLUTIONS – Research-based Assessment of Integrated approaches to Nature-Based solutions - Universities of Johannesburg and Pretoria
  • SENSE & PURIFY – Combining remote sensing with in-situ sensing to track the spatial and temporal in fresh and transitional waters - University of the Western Cape

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published on 2020/07/20 18:19:00 GMT+2 last modified 2024-03-07T12:24:58+02:00