Current Research Projects

The overall objective of this project is to produce a refined and parameterized baseline land cover against which the hydrological impacts of various land uses can be assessed. This will allow for improved decision making around environmental change impacts and in assessing streamflow reduction activities.

Research in support of South Africa’s National Biofuel Strategy

Assessing the impact of erosion and sediment yield from different land uses in farming K5/2402/4

Demonstration of how healthy ecological infrastructure can be utilized to secure water for the benefit of society and the green economy through a programmatic research approach based on selected landscapes. Quantification of hydrological and economic aspects

Further develop the catchment-scale water use quantification and accounting methodology developed in WRC Project K5/2205. The water resource accounts are intended as a tool to assist water policy makers, water managers and water users in visualising water resources states and flows for various scenarios, and as a means of facilitating communication with each other. The out comes of the project include: (i) refinements to the methodology, (ii) broadening the scope of the methodology, (iii) application and evaluation of the methodology in the uMngeni, uThukela and Breede Catchments, and (iv) better understanding of the requirements of potential users of the water resource accounts.

The overall objective of this project is to use the ACRU model to quantify and assess the impacts of various land management changes on the generation of water flows, delivery of eco-system services within river catchments and the water quality of the catchments.

Knowledge exchange around the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management in South Africa

CWRR’s role is focused on climate impact modelling and consequences for society in the Shire River Basin in Malawi.

The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is a joint initiative of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Germany in response to the challenges of global change. Our component of the project focuses on the impacts of global change on water through long term monitoring and the impacts on extreme events.

Testing the use of indigenous fish as a rapid indicator of water quality problems in South African rivers

Improving the understanding of the water use of different tree species, hybrids and clones, planted at different densities as well as improving the tools used in the assessment of streamflow licenses. This project is funded in part by the Dept of Water and Sanitation as it addresses pressing questions around streamflow reduction activities and water use licensing.

Establishing the state of the art of Water Energy Food nexus research and understanding in South Africa as a guide for future research projects

Monitoring and modelling of water use in these orchards to improve water use efficiency

This project aims to respond to an urgent need to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into planning, finance and development in the water sector to improve water security and avoid further loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The CWRR’s portion of the project aims to develop water resource accounts in selected case study catchments and collaborate in developing methods for linking water, land and ecosystem accounts.

The general aim of the project is to conduct a review of available information and knowledge about the Water – Energy – Food nexus in South Africa. Secondly, the project also aims to conduct a state-of-the-art literature review on past, present and ongoing work on the Water – Energy – Food nexus focusing on current status, potential, challenges and opportunities for intersectoral WEF Nexus planning.

The aim of the research is to develop guidelines for rainfed production of underutilised indigenous crops and estimate water use of indigenous crops based on available models within selected bio-climatic regions of South Africa. these models include AquaCrop, ACRU and APSIM.

This project was commissioned to provide a spatially explicit validation procedure for the 1 km grid of ET and SM which are produced through the HYLARSMET and PyTOPKAPI models as well as other hydrological models.