PROJECTS

WaterWise Ways

Objective

To increase efficiency of water use in towns by:

  • Facilitating behavioural change interventions;
  • Increasing knowledge about the importance of water;
  • Introducing efficient water technologies; and
  • Influencing local municipalities to adopt water wise approaches.

Several activities/sub-projects have been undertaken to achieve these objectives. They were done in a phased approach over three separate areas with the support of municipalities and communities.

Township War on Leaks

Location

Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay

Project Period

2014 - 2017

Partnership

CapeNature (Oudtshoorn) + Trapsuutjies (Mossel Bay)

About the initiative:

This initiative set out to reduce preventable water losses and waste resulting from leaking taps and inefficient toilet cisterns in township households. It raised awareness about the connection between water stress and climate change and taught basic plumbing skills at household level

Activities undertaken and deliverables:

  • Nine community workshops on water waste and climate change
  • Water audits in more than 500 households and repair of leaking taps and pipes
  • Skills development at household level in basic repairs and maintenance
  • Reduction in water losses and in household water bills

De Rust Wetlands Water Wise Project

Location

De Rust

Project Period

2017 - 2018

Partnership

Oudtshoorn Municipality, Tehila Farm

About the initiative:

This was a pilot project to demonstrate a constructed wetland system and the concept of wastewater reuse through the scrubbing of municipal sewage water in the De Rust municipal wastewater treatment works. The project has significantly reduced polluted run-off in the natural catchment system and converts wastewater into a resource to grow the green economy.

This wetland and its adjoining tree nursery continues to be maintained through the WaterWise Ways (WWW) project, with the Oudtshoorn municipality committed to assisting with the continued testing of the water in the constructed wetland.

Activities undertaken and deliverables:

  • Redesign of the sewage works through an artificial wetland using phyto-extractor plant species
  • Monitoring water quality through sample analysis of inflow and outflow water
  • Harvesting nutrient-rich bulrush and reeds from floating beds for quality compost
  • Establishment of micro farm and tree nursery
  • Skills development and employment of four previously unemployed people

WaterWise Ways

Location

De Rust, Dysselsdorp, Oudtshoorn

Project Period

2018-2021

Partnership

Trapsuutjies, Oudtshoorn Municipality

About the initiative:

This project was set up in part as a replication of the 2017 pilot in De Rust, by developing a similar artificial wetland system in another municipal wastewater treatment works, to improve downstream river health and purify water for agricultural use.

In addition there was the development of a team of ‘water wardens’ to implement household level water savings interventions in Klein Karoo townships.

A team of four local inhabitants of De Rust in collaboration with a site leader and project leader was set up to audit indigent households; to assist in facilitating behavioural change workshops; to fix leaks; and to engage with the community on an ongoing basis regarding water issues. In so doing the team established their presence as Water Wardens for the area.

The Oudtshoorn Municipality has partnered with the WaterWise Ways (WWW) project by allowing the project airtime on their awareness raising workshops with indigent households who are receiving new “Smart” water meters. The municipality also provides the project with maps to assist in plotting where in the communities leaks will be fixed.

WaterWise Ways is being implemented by Trapsuutjies Projekte, a new social enterprise in Oudtshoorn.

Activities and deliverables:

  • Repair of leaking pipes, taps and toilets in 1,000 households
  • Reduced water use coupled with reduced water bills at household level
  • Seven local people trained and empowered as municipal water wardens
  • One additional constructed wetland at municipal sewage works
  • Overflow meeting standards for discharging effluent into natural water ways

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