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Norway, SA sign multi-million groundwater agreement

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Directorate: Surface and Groundwater Information
Private Bag X313
Fax: +27 12 336 6904
E-mail: ngaur@dws.gov.za
Norway and the South African Department of Water Affairs (DWA) signed a business plan worth more than R19 million for the development of sustainable groundwater sources in Pretoria today (16 May 2000). The programme for the sustainable development of groundwater sources under the community water supply and sanitation programme in South Africa consists of seven inter-related projects aimed at promoting and implementing sustainable rural water supply schemes based on groundwater.

"Local authorities and water service providers, as well as rural water consumers, will be the main beneficiaries of this project," Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Per Grimstad, said.

"An immense gap in the delivery of basic water and sanitation services exists in this country's rural areas. Providing a basic water supply to 12 to 18 million people has become the central goal of water management in South Africa, and the South African government has committed itself to meeting this backlog over the next ten years".

"To assist the Department of Water Affairs in providing 20l to 30l clean safe water within 200m of every household in South Africa, and adequate sanitation facilities on site, Norway will contribute R19,2 million (NOK 25 million) to further this cause," Grimstad said.

DWA Director-General, Mr Mike Muller, said the programme is aimed at strengthening the department?s professional and technical capacity, and strategies for promoting and implementing sustainable rural water supply.

"The post democratic Reconstruction and Development (RDP) in South Africa has ensured that groundwater has increasingly began to play an important role in meeting the needs of nearly 12 million citizens who are adjudged to be without adequate water supply sources," Muller said.

The programme will be addressed through seven separate projects namely:
  • Practical audit of previous rural water supply schemes in eastern and southern Africa, and an analysis of critical success factors completed
  • A developed and tested groundwater management support system for rural water supply management
  • A groundwater data management system established for water services in South Africa
  • Products and strategies for increased public awareness of community water supply and sanitation issues relating to groundwater development, and piloted in two provinces
  • Identified and tested alternative solutions for optimising the exploitation of water sources at community level
  • Established and tested a groundwater monitoring network in two provinces, and
  • Established guidelines and strategy for groundwater protection in the community water supply and sanitation programme.

Compiled on behalf of the Royal Norwegian Embassy by Scribe Communications.
Tel: 012 667 4261
Fax: 012 667 4300
E-mail: pr@scribe.co

For further information contact Mr Tor Tanum or Ms Helle Biseth, Royal Norwegian Embassy
Tel: 012 342 6100
Fax: 012 342 6099 or

Deputy Director: Geohydrology DWAF, Mr Boniface Aleobua.
Tel: 012 336 8262
Mobile: 082 807 5719  


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