The development of a municipal water conservation and demand management strategy and business plan as required by the Water Services Act, South Africa
The implementation of water conservation and water demand management (WC/WDM) at municipal level has been inadequate for many years, despite South Africa being one of the driest countries in the world. This could be attributed to a lack of planning, and not realising the consequences and potential benefits of water restrictions. Many South African municipalities do not have a WC/WDM strategy and business plan although many books, publications and software packages have been produced to assist water supply managers. Most of the existing strategies are also vague and of little value, and the municipalities do not have the necessary financial, technical and institutional capacity to support such a strategy. Municipalities often fail to realise that most WC/WDM activities will pay for themselves and that financial institutions will fund these projects if a proper business case could be compiled. Ironically municipalities have complained that they are unable to obtain funding while most financial institutions complain that they cannot find bankable projects because of the poor quality of the applications and strategies. This guideline provides a simple and pragmatic approach to the development of a WC/WDM strategy and business plan which will enable municipalities to plan, obtain funding, implement and ensure the overall sustainability of water resources in the municipality and the country as a whole.
Keywords: water conservation, demand management