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Enhancing Science Partnerships for Innovation and Sustainable Development


Ambassador for the Year of Science

Interview with the special ambassador of the Year of Science, Motsi Mabuse
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Photo gallery: Closing Event in Berlin 16/04/2013

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German-South African Science Network
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Improving water systems in South Africa

Olifants River at Marble Hall (D. Gregarek / IEEM)

The IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) South Africa project was entering its second phase on site: the German partners travelled to the project region from 12 to 16 November for the joint kick-off workshop with South African part-ners and stakeholders in Pretoria.

First of all, a 12-strong group spent two days visiting the basin of the river Olifant to the north-east of Pretoria under the local guidance of Dr Marius Claassen (CSIR). The entire spectrum of water usage and factors influencing the Olifant’s ecosystem – from mining, irrigated agriculture and rural settlement areas (including former townships) through to infrastructure that could be developed and system operation that could be improved – were looked at in detail.

The kick-off workshop with the South African partners was the first milestone of the project and took place on 14 and 15 November in Pretoria. The workshop was also incorporated into the events of the German-South African Year of Science 2012-2013 and was opened by Maja Clausen from the German embassy. As well as the German project partners, the participants included numerous representatives of South African institutions, ministries, universities and companies from the water sector. There were lively discussions between the German and South African partners aimed at defining interfaces between the research projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and South African activities, mutually benefiting from the research work and therefore laying the foundations for successful implementation of the project results.

The "Incentive Engineering" approach, which relates to questions of ownership in the implementation of IWRM measures as well as the incorporation of incentive systems, was met with great interest by those present. In addition to the scientific contributions and the actual technical components of the industry partners, the planned, computer-based water game captured the interest of the workshop participants. The water game will be used to enable the results of the hydrological and economical modelling in the project region to be experienced in a fun way and to support capacity development measures.