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NCPC-SA raises awareness about water efficiency

The National Cleaner Production Centre, South Africa (NCPC-SA) continues with the drive to raise awareness in industry and government about the importance of water management. Following on the recent water workshop held in February 2018, the NCPC-SA hosted a second water efficiency workshop on 8-9 May 2018 at the CSIR in Pretoria. Speakers included international and national experts on water efficiency and supporting policy.  

This two-day capacity building workshop provided industry and government representatives with insights on water efficiency and the approaches which are being applied locally and internationally to address water management in a holistic manner.

“Awareness has increased since we have experienced drought in numerous provinces,” says Kevin Cilliers, Regional Manager for the NCPC-SA in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and national lead on the Industrial Water Efficiency Project. But he notes the challenge with industry buying into the drive for water efficiency is hindered by the preoccupation for a short-term pay-back, while water management technologies and interventions often take longer than three years to bear fruit.

The NCPC-SA’s capacity building workshops raise the basic awareness of industry of the imminent need to adopt water management practices within their respective companies. Cilliers advises that the first step in water management is to understand how much water the company is using, and where it is being used. He recommends that companies start by reading the water metre because, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Cilliers anticipates that a byproduct of the workshops will be greater understanding between representatives from industry, government institutions and participating international partners, of the need to establish water efficiency industry-government partnerships. Cilliers notes that, “Partnerships of this nature make it easier for all parties to understand each other’s needs and expectations as they pertains to water management.”

A broad spectrum of people and companies attended the water efficiency workshops, and representatives from industry and government had the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge on water management, gain insight as to what a water assessment entails, and grow the relationship between policy regulators and industry and resource efficiency consulting stakeholders, as a precursor to cementing possible future partnership collaborations.

The NCPC-SA hosted the workshops in partnership with the South African Department of Water and Sanitation, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food. The NCPC-SA is a programme of the Department of Trade and Industry, focusing on resource 9water, energy, and materials) efficient and cleaner production in industrial sectors. 

The workshops are only part of the NCPC-SA’s efforts in its Industrial Water Efficiency (IWE) Project. Companies can apply for free water assessments and assistance with implementing water efficiency in their plants. The IWE Project conducted seven water assessments in the previous financial year. Six water assessments are currently underway, while three are earmarked to commence once the service providers have been appointed.

The NCPC-SA operates across the country, with offices in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.