André Haspels, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Neil Macleod, Head of eThekwini Water & Sanitation (EWS) officially launched the Centre of Expertise at the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) conference in Cape Town on May 8th.
The Centre of Expertise is hosted by EWS, the water utility in the greater Durban area, and will introduce innovations and best practices to the Southern-African water and sanitation sector. It is an initiative by EWS and Dutch parties Vitens-Evides International, World Waternet, Wateropleidingen and Your Man On Site. Through the Centre, a series of pilot projects will be executed to showcase the implementation of new technologies and facilitate knowledge transfer. For these individual pilot projects, contributions and support from various partners will be combined. The Centre of Expertise is partly funded by the Dutch government through the Transition Facility.
The Centre of Expertise aims to unlock innovative solutions for the benefit of the Southern African water sector. Targets for the Centre of Expertise are to improve the performance of Southern African peer utilities and assist them in implementing these innovations, best practices and technologies.
EWS and the Dutch partners are aiming to establish a long-lasting co-operation. The partnership program will run for a 4 year term and will act as a general framework for the individual activities, projects and pilots. The initial focus is on non-revenue water, asset management, sanitation and the reduction of energy consumption. Four pilot projects have already started for 2012, and many more exciting developments are waiting to be explored.