Press Releases

Title : Sewage testing gives advanced warning of the 3rd Wave in South Africa

Water Research Commission (WRC) data confirms the third wave 3 weeks in advance and demonstrates the early warning capabilities of Wastewater Based surveillance of Covid-19. In line with the global response to the COV 19, WRC led the South African initiative towards development of a robust SARS COV-2 WBE platform and launched the South African National initiative in partnership with SALGA in May 2020. Based on an accelerated science and development platform, it was essential to develop and validate the techniques and methodologies to be used through a series of proof-of-concept studies.

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Title : Water Research Commission launches Water Innovations Report & the WRCTIA Water Seed Fund

The Water Research Commission (WRC) has launched the WRC 2019/20 Water Innovations Report in conjunction with the WRC-TIA Water Seed Fund. The report comprises all innovations generated in 2019/20 for showcasing to sector stakeholders and potential investors/partners. The innovations are spread across the key strategic areas of the WRC’s research and development arm, and range from low to high technology readiness levels.

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Title : UNDP AND WRC AWARD R3 MILLION TO WATER INNOVATORS TO BUILD AND IMPROVE INNOVATIONS

For Immediate Release – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa and the Water Research Commission (WRC) today awarded grants to the value of R3million to seven innovators at an award ceremony in Pretoria. The grants, partially funded by the Government of Japan through UNDP, are to conduct field testing and further develop their solutions. These solutions are aimed at addressing the country’s water challenges, particularly those exacerbated/introduced during COVID-19. These seven innovators were selected from a long list of 36 applications and a shortlist of 16 who were invited to present their ideas at a pitching session.

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Title : Launch of Clear recirculating toilet at Tsholetsega Primary School. Krugersdorp On World Toilet Day

In 2018, in response to challenges to school sanitation, the President Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, highlighted and recommended the introduction of new innovative solutions to the school sanitation system which led to the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) Initiative. The South African Sanitation Technology Enterprise Programme (SASTEP), a programme developed by the Water Research Commission in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Department of Science and Innovation answered the call and partnered with the SAFE initiative (Sanitation Appropriate for Education) as an early adopter platform of innovative and sustainable sanitation solutions for schools.

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Title : WRC AND eThekwini MUNICIPALITY PARTNER TO STRENGTHEN COLABORATION AROUND INNOVATIONS TO SOLVE CRITICAL CHALLENGES IN WATER AND SANITATION.

The Water Research Commission (WRC) and eThekwini Municipality are launching a partnership agreement to strengthen water and sanitation research and innovation through strategic collaborations to enhance scale and testing of sustainable solutions needed in municipalities facing critical challenges in service delivery.

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Title : WRC advances to monitoring wastewater for COVID-19 infections in communities as they partner with NICD in the second phase of the COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Programme

On the 20th of May 2020, the Water Research Commission (WRC) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), launched a special programme on the surveillance of SARS COV – 2 in wastewater and sanitation systems in South Africa. The purpose of the initiative was to establish the monitoring of Covid 19 infections in communities using a water and wastewater quality-based approaches.

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Title : Water Research Commission and SALGA launch the Water Technology and Innovation Forum

The Water Research Commission (WRC), in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) have launched the Water Technology and Innovation Forum (TIF). The purpose of the TIF is to serve as a platform to explore the challenges and opportunities for advancing the technology landscape at municipal level. Key to its function will be serving as a collaborative platform for municipal partners to share their innovation needs, mobilise partnerships and jointly conceptualise programmes, projects and funding.

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Title : UNDP AND WRC PARTNER TO RESPOND TO WATER CHALLENGES DURING TIMES OF COVID-19

Pretoria, 18 August 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa and the Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa are launching a partnership agreement which aims to fast track the development and promote the adoption of promising innovations in the water sector. In this regard, the two entities have signed a memorandum of understanding which guides the collaboration to facilitate research and innovation sharing, co-creation, and promotion of access to water and sanitation for people in South Africa and the rest of the African continent.

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Title : Towards Water Efficiency and Sustainability through Sanitation Technology

The current sanitation paradigm whereby large volume of potable water is used to flush and transport faecal waste from homes to centralized wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) needs to evolve to promote water conservancy and sustainability. Climate change has compounded the water stress levels in the country and pivots towards a less water intensive sanitation paradigm that would assist in better managing valuable water resources.

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Title : Pushed back to basics by a perfect storm of global crises; A South African joins the international fight for the Human Right 2 Water

The launch of the Human Right 2 water, a global NGO could not have happened at a more opportune time. As the world grapples with the impact of the Corona pandemic, the protection of the right to life and health have never been more important. The leadership team is Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO, Dhesigen Naidoo, as President, with former Waterlex Executive Director, Amanda Loeffen as CEO and Michel Jarraud, former Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as chair of the Committee of Experts.

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Title : Launch of the Covid-19 Wastewater and Sanitation Surveillance Programme

The Water Research Commission of South Africa announces the launch of a national programme on the surveillance of COVID-19 in wastewater and sanitation systems in South Africa. The programme will use the best science and innovation processes in developing tools and techniques to successfully run a COVID 19 surveillance Programme for the country. The success of the research component will be the basis for a National COVID-19 Surveillance Programme, generating real-time data linked to GIS mapping systems as an early warning system to deal with the current and next wave of COVID-19 in communities.

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Title : POTENTIAL REMOTE SENSING TECHNOLOGIES TO ENHANCE THE MONITORING AND REPORTING OF WATER FLOWS

The interactions between humans and the hydrological cycle and how this interaction has transformed the fresh water systems have been explored by Vorosmarty et al (2013) who identified five major human pressures on fresh water resources such as increasing water withdrawals, building of large dams, increasing pollution, expansion of invasives and declining streamflow which is projected to decline well into the future.

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Title : Circular Economy Approach to Sanitation

Our current global resource model is linear in nature; it involves take-use-dispose. This model can lead to wastage and has little emphasis on resource optimisation. With consumption of global resources expected to rise due to increasing population size, new ways of resource optimisation are required to ensure we do not consume beyond what we have. One of the new economic models that has been gaining traction is based on circular economy principles.

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Title : Mitigating The Impact of electricity disruption on water supply

Consistent load shedding-related, or major electricity disruptions can have severe consequences for the continuous treatment and supply of water services. Systems across the Municipal and Water Board sector remain vulnerable, as per a recently completed Water Research Commission (WRC) study and compromise both infrastructure and water quality.

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Title : Water Quality Monitoring and Public Health

Water has been recognised as one of the critical elements for sustainable socio-economic development and set at the core of sustainable development (Saravanan et al., 2009). It is directed towards ensuring the improvement of health and living conditions, and, in turn, sustaining the use of natural resources, with the goal of providing a better life for all.

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Title : Source water supply diversification - investing for the future

The primary input to our water resources is rainwater and the rainfall is unevenly distributed in time and space. A recent WRC study confirmed that 10% of our water source areas provides 50% of the mean annual runoff. Combined with climatic patterns, topography, the spatial distribution of population and industries, South Africa is inherently a water scarce country.

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Title : Groundwater - A working paper

Groundwater is the world's second most abundant fresh water source behind the ice caps and glaciers. It accounts for some 30.1 % of the earth's freshwater reserves whilst surface water sources.

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Title : The Unicorn by Dhesigen Naidoo

Creating the World’s 1st Sanitation Unicorn

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Title : Microplastics in Freshwater Environments

In one of the first studies of its kind in South Africa, the Water Research Commission (WRC) undertook research to investigated the presence of microplastics in South African freshwater, the areas of focus included rivers of the North West, Gauteng and Free State, as well drinking and groundwater sources.

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