IWRM-Pilotproject Middle Olifants South Africa with technology transfer through a franchise-concept

South Africa is a very attractive research area for an IWRM project, which combines hydrologic and economic input factors: On one hand, there are highly developed technologies under operation and the institutional framework is well-established. On the other hand, especially in the livelihood of refugees and rural areas, South Africa is clearly to be characterised as developing country. An IWRM model, elaborated and verified in South Africa, will, therefore, be the best option for application in other developing and transformation countries.

IWRM South Africa II – Focusing IWRM interventions on added-value to secure sustainability

During the progress of IWRM I the research group came to the following conclusion: for a successful implementation of IWRM, it is inevitable to have a structure of technical and legal working conditions that are necessary to assure the sustainable operations and maintenance of water facilities, but also one that creates economic incentives and sources of financing at local level. The overall research objective of IWRM II shall be to increase the value of all water-related activities (i. e. the water sector), and to secure the value increase in a sustainable manner. 

For maximizing the value added within the water sector, two different approaches shall be followed that complement each other: First, it is objective of IWRM II to link all functions of local activities ("goods and ser-vices") from the beginning to the IWRM-concepts to secure the sustainability of IWRM intervention measures. The main focus shall be to analyze the international share of functions/actions necessary for water management. This includes national and international working relations, supply chains and value-chains in the context of IWRM. Furthermore, all measures found to be reasonable basing on the results of the analysis mentioned above must be designed in a way that the IWRM-intervention measures (WIM), found to be best choice, will not fail in implementation due to a lack of "ownership".

The second objective of IWRM II is to analyze the water value-flow along the whole hydrological water cycle. Within this approach of the research program, the researchers intend to attest and verify the concept of "virtual water" and/or "water footprint". This might help to identify, when, where and for what, water services will bring the highest socio-economic benefit.

Accompanying measures of local capacity development, i.e. educational and training activities, are to be developed to support the realization of the IWRM recommendations. Participation and "ownership" of the local actors increase by continuous improvement of knowledge and skills. This will secure the sustainability of the IWRM measures beyond the period of this research project. A main requirement for the implementation of the project results are strong institutions to succeed in enforcement. Therefore, another aim of IWRM II is to elaborate in which way the functions and roles of existing institutions need to be changed or strengthened to permit the implementation of WIM-measures found to be necessary. An educational water game, based on a model of the Middle Olifants region, is developed for awareness building on water management issues.  

Aim of the further development of the IWRM model is a user-friendly software tool ready to use. IWRM modelling for Application includes refinement and updates of its three modules (WRM, WAM, WIM). To improve the available database of the project region, a mobile online analysis and data transfer system is to be developed and tested. Cross Border Dissemination is an essential part of IWRM II concerning practical use and pertinence of the project results. By transferring the project outcomes to other regions, the results can be evaluated and potential trade-offs can be identified.  

Olifants River north of Groblersdal (Photo: T.Walter), click for larger version

The implementation of the research program will be done in close cooperation of three academic partners (IEEM - Institute of Environmental Engineering and Management at the University Witten/Herdecke gGmbH, University Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF), University Bochum - Environmental Engineering and Ecology (U+Ö)) and seven partners from industry (DHI-WASY GmbH, disy Informationssysteme GmbH, HUBER SE, LAR Process Analysers AG, REMONDIS Aqua GmbH & Co. KG, TIGGES Lawyers (subcontractor to IEEM), Märkische Revision GmbH Accountants (subcontractor to IEEM)). The German partners will continue their close cooperation with the South African counterparts (Department of Water Affairs (DWA), Water Research Commission (WRC), HUBER Technology (Pty) Ltd., DHI SADC, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), University of Limpopo, University of Pretoria, SAB Miller Ltd.) for separated aspects in order to achieve the overall objectives of IWRM II

Loskop Dam (Photo M. Bombeck), click for larger version


  • Institute for Environmental Engineering and Management of the University of Witten/Herdecke gGmbH

    • Prof. Dr. mult. K.-U. Rudolph, <>; Dipl.-Ing. Markus Bombeck, <>; Dipl.-Oec. Daniel Gregarek <>
    • Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 44
    • 58455 Witten
    • Telephone: +49 2302 91 401-0
    • Fax: +49 2302 91 401-11
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