Report No: 1273/1/02

August 2002



As in many developing countries, South Africa is in the process of transforming its water sector to serve the country as a whole. An important and underlying emphasis of new water legislation and policies highlights the need for better and more efficient use of water for improved health, environmental sustainability as well as economic growth. The need for this approach is essential as there are many cases of limited resources, particularly water and finance. Water conservation (WC) and water demand management (WDM) are essential and critical to achieve long term objectives of sustainability. The challenges in developing countries are to serve different profiles of consumers with different levels of service that meet criteria of affordability and sustainability. This makes it necessary to adopt different approaches.

The development of a methodology to determine the effectiveness of WC and WDM measures was undertaken taking into account the particular conditions pertinent to South Africa, existing related methodologies as well as local and international case studies.

In formulating the overall objective for the methodology, cognisance is taken that when measures are implemented they should facilitate the achievement of equitable access to, and sustainable use of, water resources by all stakeholders within the geographical area of application, while maintaining the characteristics and integrity of the overall water resources within agreed limit.

Specific related objectives include:

Therefore the emphasis is on the development of a practical methodology to determine the effectiveness of WC and WDM measures that are consistent with the principles of Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) as well as being applicable to developing countries.

The aims of the project were as follows:

In order to achieve the aims and objectives of the project in developing a consolidated methodology, the following aspects were considered:


The approach used to develop the methodology to determine the effectiveness of WC and WDM measures is illustrated in Figure E1.

Figure E1 Simplified Illustration of Approach

Figure E1 Simplified illustration of approach

South African Country Context

The South African country context study included the examination of the status of water resources in South Africa; the patterns and trends of water demand; a presentation of the socio-economic situation in the country that affects water demand; the legislative and policy framework, with the implications on policies for demand management; the political context surrounding water management; constraints affecting the implementation of WC/WDM and its evaluation; and finally insight into the infrastructural base available for the provision of water and sanitation services in the country, together with how its condition and management affect water demand.

A summary of some of the key issues that required consideration during the development of the methodology is as follows:

Existing Related Methodologies

A limited sample of related methodologies that has developed within the past two decades were examined to provide a conceptual framework for this research. The strengths and weaknesses of these methodologies were identified in order to facilitate an understanding of the overall historic trends in the development of such methodologies as well as any deficiencil3s that could be overcome with a new methodology.

Examination of existing related methodologies identified the comprehensive 16 step process detailed in the US Army Corps of Engineers' handbook of methods for the evaluation of water conservation measures. This very rigid approach provided useful insight into aspects of a methodology generally applicable to a developed country.

Guidelines developed by the World Bank suggest a long-term programme, divided into four stages that would reduce and control unaccounted for water. Both physical (real) and non-physical (apparent) losses are addressed by this methodology which identifies that there is no instant solution to the problem of high levels of unaccounted for water in developing countries.

A more generic and holistic interactive planning approach aimed at effectiveness and acceptance (I PEA) developed in the Netherlands details a philosophy, a process and tools that facilitate the implementation of a strategy more in tune with definition of Integrated Water Resource Management (IVVRM) applicable to South African conditions and of relevance to other developing countries.

Scenario based multi-criteria policy planning and multiple criteria decision analysis techniques have demonstrated the relevance in applying multi-criteria decision support systems for water management in South Africa.

A brief summary of these methodologies is given in Table E1

Table E1 Synopsis of related methodologies

Methodology, name & brief description Strengths Weaknesses
US Army Corps of Engineers' 16 Step approach defining methods for the evaluation of water conservation for municipal and industrial water supply (Polhemus, 1985)
  • Comprehensive approach
  • Refining and filtering of WC/WDM measures
  • Situational analysis at the start
  • Feasibility of measures established prior to implementation
  • Social acceptability of measures are determined
  • Expected effectiveness of measures are established
  • Advantages and disadvantages are determined
  • Economic and environmental impacts are identified
  • Includes elements of IRP
  • Aimed at developed country
  • Predominantly for urban areas
  • Much of the data is relevant to the US only
  • Although comprehensive, the approach appears to concentrate on conceptual aspects with less emphasis on implemented case studies
World Bank Guidelines for the reduction and control of unaccounted for water. A 12 to 14 year programme divided into 4 stages (Jeffcoate & Saravanapavan, 1987)
  • Clear differentiation of physical and non-physical water losses
  • Detailed and concentration on conditions pertinent to developing countries
  • Interactive approach ranging from an initial action programme to a long- term extended action programme
  • Sound basic principles for the control of unaccounted for water were established
  • Concentrates mostly on distribution systems
  • Potential for a lack of continuity in the management of such a long-term programme
  • Mostly concentrating on technical measures/solutions
Interactive Planning aimed at Effectiveness and Acceptance - A systematic and integrated approach consisting of 5 phases (Van Rooy, 1997)
  • Leads to mutual and interactive decision-making
  • Analytical approach
  • Openness to cultural and philosophical aspects
  • A learning process for those involved
  • Differences between current desired situation plus benchmarks/ratings help identify focus points
  • Consensus approach used in prioritising that facilitates the filtering of any bias
  • Helps prioritise measures
  • Complex analytical process
  • Lacks clarity in the final steps related to implementation
MCDA -Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis -Consensus based decision making (Stewart et al 1997)
  • Achieves equitable balance-between conflicting needs and different interests
  • Interactive approach by continually refining a set of scenarios
  • Process is generally complex and not easy to follow in its entirely

Most methodologies that are currently being used to determine the effectiveness of WC/WDM measures emanate or are based on pure economic principles that treat water as an economic good. From the study it has become clearly evident that in a developing country scenario" water should rather be considered as an economic resource as it is central to social and economic upliftment. This then requires a fundamentally new approach and methodology for determining effectiveness of NC/WDM measures.

WC/WDM Case Studies

A review of case study material from projects within Southern Africa and other developing countries providl3s important insight into how WC/WDM can address the particular conditions experienced in (developing countries, and how these conditions impact on the effectiveness of WC/WDM. This comparative process has assisted with the development of the methodology to determine the effectiveness of WC/WDM. Aspects of related WC/WDM cases were highlighted for their particular success or failure, and the lessons they might have for a methodology.

A range of case studies has been investigated that includes:

This wide range of cases shows the extent to which WC/WDM has been implemented and many novel ways in which WC/WDM has been applied. Several case studies were examined during this research.

Consolidated methodology

A pragmatic and easy to understand consolidated methodology has evolved from the analysis in the study and developed as follows:

Objectives of this research SA country context Existing related methodologies WC/WDM Case Studies
  • Define the determination of effectiveness of WC/WDM measures
  • Establish a foundation for the development of a WC/WDM effectiveness algorithm
  • Develop a practical and applicable methodology
  • IWRM
  • Awareness
  • Economic factors
  • Growth factors
  • Cost recovery
  • Institutional capacity
  • Maintenance of infrastructure
  • Socio-economic conditions
  • Politics and water policy
  • US Army Corps Methodology - comprehensive but inflexible. · Provides indication of effectiveness of WC/WDM measures
  • World Bank Guidelines - indicates the need for an interactive, long-term process
  • IPEA -flexible, adaptable and participative approach
  • MCDA -interactive approach that facilitates decision making but not user friendly
  • Integrated WC/WDM plans
  • Communication and awareness raising
  • Monitoring and evaluation·
  • Appropriate and targeted approach
  • Multi-stakeholder involvement at all levels
  • Political support and institutional capacity
  • Long-term approach
  • STEP 4 - PLAN

In formulating the consolidated methodologies. the salient features of the 4 steps are as follows:

Situational Analysis includes the assessment of data availability, stakeholder analysis as well as a water audit and demand analysis. Refining objectives includes focusing on key issues of affordability, equity, sustainability and refining the objectives themselves. Effectiveness of WG/WDM measures includes the identification of appropriate measures as well as their detailed analysis. The preparation, implementation and re-evaluation of the WG/WDM plan are dealt with in the last step of the methodology. This whole process of developing the WG/WDM plan is (cyclical, consultative and iterative.

The methodology therefore takes cognisance of the analysis of the particular conditions in South Africa, existing methodologies and the findings of selected case studies as well as the objectives of the methodology. These aspects are related to the methodology via a value tree. (See Fig 5.3 in the text).

The application of the methodology is illustrated with the aid of a funnel (See Fig 5.12 in the text). The four steps of the methodology are addressed in sequence as one progresses through the funnel in a process that facilitates a consensus based decision to eventually focus on those WG/WDM measures most effective for a particular situation. The objectives and circumstances of a specific situation would determine the number of iterations that the methodology would require, starting from the basic analysis involved with an initial assessment progressing through the funnel, to more advanced analysis required during subsequent iterations. By these means the effectiveness of the process is refined.

The first step of this consensus based methodology is the commencement of the process whereby a broad list of WC/WDM measures is considered in context of the particular situation, the circumstances peculiar to the stakeholders involved and specific water demand conditions.

The second step of the methodology initiates a filtering process that starts to focus on those generic categories of WC/WDM measures that correspond with the consensus based issues and objectives for the situation.

The third step of the methodology is the refining process, whereby specific WC/WDM measures are identified and selected because of their potential effectiveness to address the specific circumstances under consideration. These specific circumstances relate to their applicability, technical feasibility, social acceptability, economic effects and potential environmental impacts.

The fourth and final step of the methodology builds on the previous processes and is in itself a refining process; as well as a process to obtain broader acceptance of the consensus based conclusions that have been reached. This step not only formulates the plan but facilitates the implementation of the chosen plan. It also initiates a re-evaluation process that is the basis of a sensitivity analysis as well as a means of measuring results against benchmarks.

This funnelling process is illustrated with the aid of Figure 5.12 in the text whereby after each iteration, the number of consensus based choices available are reduced until, ultimately, the most effective WG/WIDM measures are selected and adopted. The number of iterations undertaken through this funnelling process would be related to the particular project's objectives and circumstances.

A comprehensive summary of the methodology indicating each step, sub-step, objective/goal, process and associated tool/method is given in Table 5.5 in the text.