Water Research Commission and Sasol advance water stewardship | Infrastructure news

Pictured: Water Research Commission CEO, Dhesigen Naidoo

As a large industrial user of water, Sasol has formed strategic partnerships with the Department of Basic Education in the Free State, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and the Water Research Commission (WRC).

In two separate collaboration agreements, Sasol has undertaken to promote water conservation and improve treatment technologies and the re-use of waste water in South Africa. Typical water losses in municipalities vary between 30 and 45%, mostly from ageing distribution systems and broken or leaking plumbing fixtures, such as taps and toilets. To reduce these losses, DWA has set a target of a 15% reduction of municipal water use by 2015.

“Sasol’s partnership with the Department of Basic Education in the Free State and the DWA, known as Project Busa Metsi, seeks to minimise water losses at schools and educate learners on the importance of water conservation; especially in the Metsimaholo Municipality. This municipality receives its water from the Vaal River system, together with approximately 40% of South Africans,” said Sasol’s executive director, Nolitha Fakude. More than sixteen schools will benefit from this project.

A partnership between Sasol Technology and the Water Research Commission (WRC) will see both parties collaborate on finding new technologies and opportunities to conserve water in South Africa.

Sasol Technology will offer the use of some of their Research and Development (R&D) Piloting facilities in Sasolburg and Secunda to researchers and academics from the WRC for research in conjunction with Sasol Technology teams.

Dhesigen Naidoo, WRC CEO said, “Through this partnership, we want to fortify our science, technology and innovation partnership to ensure a higher input of knowledge and workable technologies to empower responsible water citizenship at all levels to ensure a water successful future for our beautiful country. We are also confident that with the huge support of national and provincial governments, we have the right partnership formula to ensure its sustainability.”

This partnership will also see the creation of a joint research commission (JRC) which will oversee and monitor the partnership and seek out new opportunities for collaboration on other water conservation matters. The Sasol-WRC agreement will include amongst others, collaboration in the following key research areas;

  • Climate change;
  • Water resource availability and accessibility;
  • Catchment management and water quality improvement;
  • Water foot printing and best practices for the private and public sectors;
  • Water conservation and water demand management;
  • Technological development for the treatment and management of water, waste water and residual by-products;
  • Residual by-product treatment and management (ash, brine and sludge management);
  • Ecosystems remediation and rehabilitation;
  • Groundwater impact, vulnerability and remediation.
Sasol is also promoting efficient water use in its own operations. The company’s largest operations in South Africa are dependent on the water-stressed Vaal River System, which supplies most of Sasol’s water requirements in South Africa.Sasol further launched a group-wide initiative, Water Sense, which aims to align its water stewardship practices throughout its various operations around the world. It is the platform from which water-related issues are co-ordinated and responded to, to address water security risks, regulatory risks and the increased societal awareness of water becoming a scarce and valued resource.

WRC Sasol  Signing  ceremony image

WRC and Sasol Signing ceremony

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