The uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) is a river basin collaboration of business, government and civil society partners established to address water security challenges in the uMhlathuze region of South Africa. UWASP aims to play a transformative role in the region by unlocking the value of water for social, economic and environmental benefit.
The Mhlathuze River Catchment is on the north-east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 180kms north of Durban.
Origins and founding partners:
The partnership arose in response to a severe drought in 2015/2016 which brought into focus the significant water quality and quantity risks facing the catchment. As a result, in mid-2016 GIZ’s International Water Stewardship Programme, the National Business Initiative, Strategic Water Partners Network and WWF South Africa came together with local businesses including Tongaat Hulett, Mondi South Africa, Grindrod, Transnet and Richards Bay Minerals, as well as government stakeholders including the Department of Water and Sanitation and Pongolo-uMzimkulu Proto-Catchment Management Agency, to form UWASP.
UWASP’s approach is collaborative, with all partners working collectively to identify focus areas and solutions, as well as to develop projects.
The partnership’s current focus areas are:
- Enhancing the management of the freshwater coastal lakes and surface water dam that provide for uMhlathuze’s needs
- Supporting water use efficiency and reducing water loss amongst downstream users
- Facilitating agricultural water stewardship and irrigation efficiency
- Securing ecological infrastructure through invasive species clearing and wetland rehabilitation
- Developing community water-related champions, entrepreneurs and micro enterprises
For enquiries please contact Michelle Hiestermann