SWPN Water Stewardship Working Group Meeting Update

A Recap of the January 30th, 2024 Meeting

The Water Stewardship Working Group, co-chaired by Faith Lawrence and William Moraka, held a productive meeting on January 30th, 2024. We extend our sincere gratitude to all the speakers who contributed to the insightful discussions:

– Peter Varndell (NEPAD Business Foundation & Strategic Water Partners Network)
– Lindiwe Lusenga (Department of Water and Sanitation)
– Zimiti Chodeva (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
– Lyle Francis (Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality)
– Garth Barnes (National Business Initiative)

Meeting Highlights

The meeting commenced with an overview of the Working Group’s objectives by the co-chairs. Peter Varndell provided a comprehensive update on the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN), including its evolution, governance, and impactful initiatives. Lindiwe Lusenga emphasised the importance of partnerships and collaboration in tackling water and sanitation challenges.

The second part of the meeting focused on innovative public-private collaboration models for water stewardship. The speakers covered topics such as partnership approaches, non-revenue water projects, and nature-based solutions, highlighting case studies and lessons learned.

Key Takeaways:

  • Public-private collaboration models with shared funding, control, and governance can address common issues in the mining industry (Zimiti Chodeva).
  • The NMBM-SWPN partnership, funded by SAB, has significantly impacted water supply in Nelson Mandela Bay, but further interventions are required (Lyle Francis).
  • A shift from a risk-based to a resilience-based approach, incorporating nature-based solutions and ecological infrastructure, is advocated (Garth Barnes).

Upcoming Plans

Based on the poll results, the top topics of interest for further learning through SWPN were:

1. Water reuse
2. Non-revenue water
3. Catchment management
4. Transboundary partnerships
5. Wastewater treatments
6. Desalination

The next Working Group meeting will take place in April 2024, and a new WhatsApp group dedicated to members will be launched to facilitate ongoing discussions and updates.

View the meeting recording here.

You can access the presentations from the meeting by clicking on the links below:

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