South Africa is regarded as an arid country but the existing water stewardship practises are inadequate to prevent severe water scarcity in the future that could have a detrimental effect on the country's economy. The biggest regulatory structure of water management in South Africa is the government appointed Water Service Authorities (WSAs). Given modern-day advances in digital technologies, Wang et al. (2015) envisions that tools such as intelligently networked water cyber physical systems could aid in water stewardship practises.
This research aimed to contribute to the existing body of knowledge through identifying the most important water stewardship factors that currently play a role in the environment of WSAs, identifying the envisaged factors that can play a part in the future sustainability and stewardship of water, as well as recognising the opportunities and challenges that could enable or prohibit the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT). The research adopted an inductive approach to interpret the various responses of 11 semi-structured interviews with water professionals that works within the environment of WSA. It included insights from Government, Water boards (also seen as WSAs), nongovernment organisation, private sector consultants and research institutions.
A sustainable water balance framework developed by Rozza et al. (2013) was applied to discuss current water stewardship practices. The study shows that planning and strategy, governance and management as well as public perception and awareness were identified as the most important current factors while technology and products are seen as the most import future factors. Most factors in current water stewardship practices were perceived with a negative connotation. Numerous ICT opportunities were identified and outweighed the challenges that are perceived with the implementation of ICT. In probing the future preparedness of WSA for the adoption of information and communication technologies, it was found that there was a vastly positive response. Although many hurdles to the adoption of ICT were identified, more opportunities than challenges were acknowledged. WSA can thus be classified as prepared for the implementation of ICT, should solutions be found for some of the impending problems.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.