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RECONCILIATION STRATEGY FOR THE LARGE BULK WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS: GREATER BLOEMFONTEIN AREA

Area of supply

The Greater Bloemfontein supply system provides the majority of potable water requirements to the larger centres of Bloemfontein, Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo, as well as the smaller towns of Wepener, Dewetsdorp, Reddersburg, Edenburg, and Excelsior, which are also dependent to varying degrees on local water sources. Currently approximately 66% of the treated water is supplied by Bloem Water, primarily through Welbedacht and Rustfontein Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and the balance via Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality’s Maselspoort WTP. A schematic layout of the Greater Bloemfontein Supply System is shown in the figure below.

 

Planning for the Greater Bloemfontein Supply System

The Water Reconciliation Strategy Study for the Greater Bloemfontein Area was undertaken by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), in cooperation with Bloem Water (BW), the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) and other stakeholders in order to secure a sustainable future water supply for MMM and the other Water Service Authorities served by Bloem Water’s regional water supply schemes. The Reconciliation Strategy Study was completed in June 2012. A core element of the recommendations presented in this Strategy is Integrated Water Resource Management. Some of the recommendations that are presented in this Strategy are challenging, but they comprise practical and logical next steps to ensure sustainable and improved future management of the BW schemes and local sources of water supply, including the selection of interventions to balance supply and requirements. New approaches are needed to plan and supply urban water needs, including altered consumer behaviour and appreciation of the scarcity of water, and the development and funding of more diversified portfolios of integrated new and alternate water sources and the use of surface and groundwater systems to sustainable levels of abstraction.

The purpose of the Reconciliation Strategy is to determine the current water balance situation and to develop various possible future water balance scenarios up to 2035 and beyond. The Reconciliation Strategy provides a framework for decision making with associated actions, responsibilities and timing of such actions that are urgently needed to reconcile the supply and requirement.


Strategy Steering Committee

One of the recommendations which came out of the Strategy Study was that a Strategy Steering Committee be formed with a clearly defined mandate and scope of work. The primary function of the Strategy Steering Committee will be to ensure the implementation of the strategy and to make recommendations, on an annual basis, on long-term planning activities required to ensure on-going reconciliation of requirement and available supply in the Greater Bloemfontein area.

A Strategy Steering Committee was formed in November 2011. This Committee has representatives from DWS regional and national offices, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Bloem Water, organized agriculture, relevant District and Local Municipalities, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the Bloemfontein Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and SALGA. The Strategy Steering Committee actively monitors implementation of the strategy by all role-players. The Strategy Steering Committee will update the strategy annually as additional information becomes available. Organisations represented on the Strategy Steering Committee must ensure that recommendations made in the Strategy document are implemented and assume a collective responsibility for ensuring the on-going reconciliation of supply and requirement.

The objectives of the Strategy Steering Committee are:

  • To ensure implementation of the recommendations of the Reconciliation Strategy.

  • To update the Strategy to ensure that it is relevant.

  • To ensure that the Strategy and its recommendations are appropriately communicated.

 
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