DWA and CSIR collaborate | Infrastructure news

The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

The aim of the MoU is to forge a strategic partnership that will enable the two public entities to jointly develop appropriate and relevant research and technology capabilities to address national priorities in the water sector.

Maxwell Sirenya, director general of DWA, says, “At a national level, strategic interventions are needed so that we can do things differently. This requires a holistic response, as we have seen that a fragmented and isolated approach results in ineffective solutions.”

In this regard, the DWA and the CSIR will initially focus on the following thematic areas to enable more efficient and effective management of the country’s water resources:
• Water security in terms of both quantity and quality
• Infrastructure and integrated water resources planning
• Sharing of knowledge and information through sector-wide partnerships and collaboration
• Understanding the transdisciplinarity of the water management business, i.e. looking at the entire water value chain
• Joint capacity building through active institutional collaboration; and
• Holistic and integrated management and governance.

Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, chief executive officer of the CSIR, says, “South Africa’s water situation presents us with an enormous range of opportunities. In this regard, the multidisciplinary nature of the CSIR allows us to draw from a wide range of skills and expertise in the field of water management. Through this partnership, we hope to develop an integrated and multi-disciplinary solution to contribute to the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of water to ensure that South Africa attains its social and economic growth and development aspirations.”

Research work in collaboration with DWA will include a range of diverse skills in the following areas:
• Water science and catchment management
• Systems modelling and economic and social sciences
• Development of decision-support tools to inform integrated planning frameworks, strategies and policies
• Spatial planning initiatives and innovation
• Building and construction innovation.

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