Rand Water And Water Conservation And Water Demand Management


The Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) is considered the most important water resource in South Africa. It supplies water to about 60% of the country’s economy.

The current demand for water in the IVRS already exceeds the supply capacity (yield) of the system by 435 million kilolitres per annum (mkl/a), or 11% of the system yield. This means that we are already exceeding the ability of the existing water supply system, which leaves no room for growth and development. The continuing trend of 2% per annum growth in abstraction volumes by Rand Water will lead to a capacity deficit of 880 million kl/annum (25% of current yield) in the next 5 years.

Key strategic objectives:

Rand Water has adopted Water Demand Management (WDM) as one of its key strategies.

The main objective of the strategy is to enhance the management of water services in order to achieve sustainable, efficient and affordable services to Rand Water and all its customers.

The 4 pillars of the WDM strategy are:

1. Extensive Capital Programmes to reduce losses from aging infrastructure (Rand Water infrastructure)

2. WDM initiatives directed towards helping our customers reduce water consumption through partnerships with various municipalities and other stakeholders

3. Alternative products as a surrogate to potable water needs i.e. effluent water re-use

4. Enforcement of water restriction should the demand continue to grow.

The diagram below illustrates the 4 pillars.


Rand Water is committed to servicing its customers’ needs by assisting them with its expertise in the management of water demand and reduction of water losses.

Rand Water offers the following water demand management services:

1. High-level and detailed financial and technical assessments

2. (Leakage management)

3. (Pressure Management)

4. Network Analysis and Modelling (Hydraulic Modelling)

5. Water and Sewer Logging and Analysis

6. Development and drafting of business plans for funding applications

7. Implementation of WDM interventions

8. Maintenance and sustainability of interventions post implementation

9. Water Wise Education and Awareness Campaigns

The main benefits of effective water demand management are:

1. Deferment of major future capital infrastructure

2. Savings on operational costs

3. Demand management also improves the effectiveness of wastewater treatment by reducing its volume and increasing detention times, improving discharge quality and reducing the pollution of receiving waters.

Interesting facts:

• Successful implementation of Project 15% could have restricted RW abstraction to 4400 Ml/d by 2020.

• RW abstraction for last 12 months was 4360 Ml/d.


Some of the common constraints preventing or restricting the implementation of WDM interventions include the following:

1. Planning—current resources planning practices often focuses on supply-side management

2. Institutiona—lack of proper co-ordination among various role players in the water supply chain during planning process;

3. Capacity—often limited capacity available to plan and maintain WDM measures.


In the endeavour to comply with Rand Water’s current water abstraction license and assist our customers to curb the high water losses within the municipal infrastructure, the need for effective water demand management cannot be over emphasized.


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Issue 29


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