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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Funding boost for collaborative water project

WATER BOOST: Dr Chris Nhlapo (CPUT), Phakamani Buthelezi (BGCMA) and Prof David Holdgate (UWC) at the signing of a funding agreement that will boost water research in South Africa WATER BOOST: Dr Chris Nhlapo (CPUT), Phakamani Buthelezi (BGCMA) and Prof David Holdgate (UWC) at the signing of a funding agreement that will boost water research in South Africa

A funding boost of R2.5 m will further strengthen a collaborative research and training project that is addressing water challenges facing South Africa.

Over the past few years, the Centre of Water Research (CWSR) at CPUT together with the Institute of Water Studies at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) have collaborated with the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA) on an Integrated Water Resource Management in South Africa project.

The project commenced in 2011 with a four year grant of 1.5 million Euros from Nuffic, a Netherlands based capacity development organization. With the grant period at an end, the Board of BGCMA has approved funding to sustain the research initiatives for the next three years.

Direct of BGCMA, Phakamani Buthelezi, says the funding is in line with the organisation’s strategic plan that advocates collaboration with academic and research institutions that can contribute towards innovative solutions to water problems as well as capacity building.

Director of CWSR, Prof Lagardien, says the first phase of funding was used to build the foundation of the project and to forge meaningful collaborations and partnerships.

He says collaborative ventures are an “efficient way of taking care of important research and development challenges.”

“The collaboration has demonstrated value,” says Lagardien.

To date, Lagardien says they have established a remote sensing and GIS lab at UWC, a Water Quality lab at CPUT, improved data collection and management and acquired catchment instrumentation and vehicles.

They have also made huge strides in capacity building, with four PhD and eight Masters fellowships, three WRC research projects and several seminars. Researchers involved in the project also participated in exchange programmes with the Netherlands to further advance their skills base.

The second phase of the project will focus and drive collaboration in the niche areas of catchment studies, water resource assessments, environment, water and sustainability, water and agriculture as well as water and sanitation services.  

UWC Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Prof David Holdgate commended the project participants and says their area of research is addressing issues that are impacting on South Africa.

Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311
Email: keatingc@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.