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Water Demand in the Basin:

Water Demand Management

   

Water Demand Management (WDM) is defined as “The adaptation and implementation of a strategy (policies and initiatives) by water management institutions to influence water demand and usage of water in order to meet any of the following objectives: economic efficiency, social development, social equity, environmental protection, sustainability of water supply and services, and political acceptability.” (DWAF 1999).

Currently, no country in the Orange-Senqu River basin has a comprehensive and operational countrywide approach to Water Demand Management. While policy trends include Water Demand Management, legislation and implementation strategies lag at the country level (Table 1). Despite a lack of comprehensive Water Demand Management strategies and policies, the region has established some local-level experience with pilot projects – mainly in big cities.

Table 1: Status of Water Conservation/Water Demand Management planning and implementation in the Orange-Senqu River basin states.

Country

Policy

Legislation

Applied in Urban Sector

Applied in Agricultural Sector

Botswana

in development

No

Increasing block tariffs, leak detection

Extremely limited

Lesotho

Yes

in development

Increasing block tariffs only

Extremely limited

Namibia

Yes

in development

Comprehensive in Windhoek

Limited

South Africa

Yes

Yes

Limited in Durban,

Johannesburg and

Cape Town

Limited application.

Research ongoing.

Source: Adapted from Rothert 2000

The success of Water Demand Management in individual countries can be crudely measured as the percentage of water unaccounted for, or lost to use or waste, between the inflow and outflow (Gumbo 2004). On this basis, success resulting from direct investment in certain WDM strategies is evidenced by advances in:

  • Water awareness campaigns
  • Customer education
  • Water loss management projects
  • Individual metering of consumers
  • Water-efficient gardening
  • Efficient and informative billing
  • An appropriate management information system (Gumbo 2004)

Effective Water Demand Management is also linked to sound financial management, an equitable standard of water services (at least 90% of the population connected) and waste water recycling and re-use. A study of Water Demand Management strategies in cities across southern Africa (by Gumbo 2004) found that Windhoek has achieved considerable success.

Both Namibia and South Africa have decentralized water management and have shifted water management from the national level to the basin/community level. South Africa is in the process of implementing Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and Namibia is decentralizing rural water supply to Water Point Agencies (WPAs). In Botswana, decentralization of water management is occurring to the extent that District Councils are responsible for the operation and maintenance of water supplies; however there is limited community involvement (Sandstrom and Singh 2000). In Lesotho, water management is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources; however  Lesotho's National Environmental Policy states that “the involvement of stakeholders contributes to the efficiency, sustainability and success of water projects” (NeWater 2005).

Below is a comparison of Water Demand Management in three major cities in southern Africa, either in the Orange-Senqu River basin or supplied by water from it. Information for Gaborone, Botswana was not included source study (Gumbo 2004). "Level of Service" is defined as: (1) reticulated: household water, connections that can have taps within the house or within a private plot of land; or (2) stand posts and other:

Table 2: Comparison of Water Demand Management (WDM) in three major cities in southern Africa.

Indicator

Windhoek

Johannesburg

Maseru

Managing institution

Municipal

Private

Parastatal

Population served (1000s)

250

3 500

170

% urban population with formal status

95

75

80

Volume supplied (m3/day)

48 000

1 100 000

29 000

Per capita gross figure (l/head/day)

190

310

140

Annual yield from sources (Mm3)

22,2

 

1,8

Average rainfall (mm/annum)

360

710

780

Altitude (m)

1 600

1 200

1 700

Level of service % reticulated

97

90

79

% stand-posts and other

3

10

21

Number of connections

38 000

617 000

32 000

% of metered connections

88

70

70

Length of distribution network (km)

1 300

9 500

480

WDM strategy

Yes (1994)

Yes (2001)

None

WDM policy

Yes

Yes

None

WDM legislation

None

Yes

None

WDM education and awareness programme

Yes

Yes

None

Major customer complaints

Bursts and Billing

Billing

Inadequate supply

Dedicated WDM section

Yes

Yes

None

Total number of employees in water section

70

3500

455

Number of employees/population served

1:3600

1:1000

1:400

Number of employees/1000 connections

2

6

14

Recycling, reclamation and reuse

Yes

Yes

No

% Level of UAW

18

30

31

% Domestic consumption

74

75

40

Block tariff system

Yes

Yes

Yes

Average cost of water (US$/m3)

0,65

0,25

0,38

Is essential volume free or at reduced tariff?

Yes

Free

Yes

Revenue generated (millions per annum)

N$45

R2 000

M28

Financing at WDM as a % of water account

Yes (1%)

Yes

None

* UAW (unaccounted for water) is the difference between the total amount of water pumped into the water system from the source(s) and the amount of metered use by the customers of the water system expressed as a percentage of the total water pumped into the system. UAW generally includes system leakage and unmetered use such as fire fighting, line flushing, broken water mains, etc.. Data from various sources (see Gumbo 2004)

 

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Tour video scenes along the Orange-Senqu River related to Meeting the Water Challenge


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