SA Water Reuse Programme (“WRP”)

Document cover for SA Water Reuse Programme (“WRP”)
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SA Water Reuse Programme (“WRP”)

SOUTH AFRICA IS CONSIDERED TO BE A WATER SCARCE COUNTRY and is projecting a 17% water deficit by 2030 (National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, 2018) (“NWSMP”). According to the NWSMP there is a need to optimise the water mix which is currently strongly dominated by surface water, with some groundwater and return flows, to a water mix that includes increased groundwater use, re-use of effluent from waste water treatment plants, water reclamation, as well as desalination and treated acid mine drainage. Despite being a water scarce country, the country is continuing to lose this valuable resource down its rivers and into the ocean. The improvement of water conservation, water quality and water-use efficiency is a key national priority, when compared against a global rainfall average of 870 mm per year, the country only receives 450mm. Water is unsustainably being utilised – demand is outstripping supply. Climate change adaptation requires water reuse be addressed more systematically and at scale.


  • Mobilise resources to scale up water reuse in an effective, efficient, equitable, sustainable and financially viable manner.


  • Establish a programmatic approach to water reuse in South Africa
  • Provide a funding option to address market constraints and play a catalytic role with a blended finance approach, to increase climate related water reuse investments in South Africa – establish water reuse as a new asset class in South Africa

Executing entity

  • DBSA through the establishment of a Water Reuse Programme Office and development of an alternative funding option for water reuse projects in SA

Implementing entities

  • Department of Human Settlements and Water and Sanitation (“DHSWS”) – national government lead
  • Water Research Commission – advisory and sector linkages
  • Municipalities through the implementation of water reuse projects

It is intended that the WRP will be a National Programme that will support and facilitate the preparation and implementation of water reuse projects in municipalities within South Africa.

Cover date 29 October 2019
Document type Concept note
Development Bank of Southern Africa
South Africa