Sustainable development indicators for urban water systems: a case study evaluation of King William's Town, South Africa, and the applied indicators

  • G Morrison
  • OS Fatoki
  • E Zinn
  • D Jacobsson


In the light of the increasing pressures on the world's freshwater resources, changes in the present and future urban water systems are called for in order to achieve sustainable development. The transformation from unsustainable practices demands tools that measure progress and can warn of future trends. Sustainable development indicators (SDIs) have been suggested as tools for a number of fields, including the urban water sector. This case study applied 20 SDIs to an urban water system in King William's Town, a medium-sized city in the semi-arid, mostly underdeveloped Eastern Cape of South Africa. The main aims were twofold: To evaluate the sustainability of the urban water system, and to evaluate the individual factors according to criteria. A final working list of the 15 SDIs was found useful for the study area and was produced for use also in future studies.

WaterSA Vol.27(2) 2001: 219-232

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eISSN: 0378-4738