Water is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most valuable resources. Without significant improvement in the efficiency of use of this resource, we may experience wide-ranging shortages throughout the country within the not too distant future. The educational sector in South Africa could play a pivotal role in the education of learners and their communities, relating to the responsible use of water. This education, however, requires a parallel demonstration of these values within the boundaries of the school yard in order to maintain credibility amongst those being taught, and to enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of water saving initiatives. Primary and Secondary Schools in South Africa currently accommodate approximately 11,6 million learners and 360,000 educators. These learners and educators are accommodated in 27,200 schools, of which approximately 19,600 urban schools are supplied with water on site. Included in these schools are approximately 75,000 hostel beds, with supporting infrastructure such as canteens and laundry facilities. Other water uses within these schools include 63,700 sports facilities for various sports codes such as swimming, rugby, soccer, hockey, athletics, cricket and volleyball. Specialist laboratories, home economics and science centres total approximately 3,400. (National Department of Education, 2001, Schools Register of Needs). This portfolio of facilities represents a major water use within South Africa, costing schools and the Department of Education, approximately R216m per annum, plus estimated losses, due to leakage and wastage of approximately R74m per annum. This study has also shown that billing under-recovery to local supply authorities, providing water to schools, amounts to approximately R90m per annum. Based on cursory audits of 64 schools in Gauteng North, as well as their utility service provider accounts, this project sets about defining key performance indicators for use by schools to assist with the management of their water resource use. A simplified, paper-based water use simulation tool is developed for use by schools nationally, in establishing an ethic of measuring and monitoring within their institutions. School water use is fragmented, at facility level, into various major uses, including ablution consumption, irrigation of sports fields and landscaping, other ancillary uses and water losses, due to leakage and wastage. This project outlines the impacts, financial and environmental, of school water efficiency initiatives, illustrating technology options using life-cycle costing studies, and desktop simulations.
Dissertation (MSc (Quantity Surveying))--University of Pretoria, 2007.