22 January 2013

South Africa: Fourth Municipal Water Quality Conference

press release

Call for Papers

Introduction

The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in partnership with the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) have come a long way in the quest to improve water quality management, particularly in the Local Government sector, as well as acknowledge those organisations and individuals who have excelled in the execution of their function. The Municipal Water Quality Conference continues its proud tradition to reaffirm Government's earnestness to ensure that all Water Services Institutions are responsive, accountable, effective, efficient, consultative and achieves the desired Water Services outcomes.

The 4th Municipal Water Quality Conference provides a platform for knowledge and lesson sharing, lesson distribution and partnership opportunities between the public and private sectors to upscale efforts to improve wastewater services and drinking water management in South Africa. Central to this will be discussions to ensure financial sustainability of the water services business within Local Government.

The organisers will endeavour to answer the question: "What does it take to achieve improved water quality management performance, distinctive impact and lasting endurance in a municipal environment?"

Theme: Together committed to excellent Water Quality for the future

This entails reshaping the South African Municipal Water Quality Landscape:

By establishing a Risk Management Culture within municipal Drinking Water Quality Management and Wastewater Services.

By intensifying planning, operations and management improvements towards ensuring public confidence in water quality

By engaging in suitable opportunities and value-added partnerships across the sectors

By being part of the solution

Who should attend?

Wastewater Services Managers and Practitioners

Drinking Water Quality Managers and Practitioners

Scientific and Laboratory Managers and Technicians

Municipal Management

Councillors and Strategic Decision-takers

Researchers

Civil Society Organisations

Water and Wastewater Consultants

Tertiary Institutions (lecturers and students)

Chief Financial Officers, Asset Managers and Economists

Environmental Health Practitioners

Industry players with specific mandates in the water agenda

Overview

Previous Conferences provided opportunities to discuss innovative approaches and technologies for water and wastewater services management.

The 4th Municipal Water Quality Conference provides the opportunity to reflect and evaluate the successes or shortcomings of the previously implemented approaches and initiatives. The Conference holds high intent to give a forthright review if 'solutions' have found their mark in the management and operation of wastewater services. Aspects such as risk abatement planning, incentive based regulation and effluent quality regulation will be discussed.

The focus of the conference will be to ensure continuous improvement in Drinking Water Quality management and supply of safe water, while interactive workshops will ensure that participants have a similar understanding of the requirements of the updated Drinking Water Quality (SANS) standard. A preview of the Blue Water Services Audit 2014 will form part of the focal point, ensuring that participants can plan and prepare well in advance for Blue Drop Certification.

The National Water Services Regulation Strategy (NWSRS 2012) sets clear objectives in terms of economic regulation in ensuring that services provided to customers by water services providers are appropriate, effective, efficient and sustainable, noting that in South Africa water services are provided in a monopolistic environment.

Interactive panels will stimulate debates on the following NWSRS 2012 indicator functions and key tasks that will be undertaken by the Economic Regulator:

Consumer protection referring primarily to the areas of enabling consumers to interact with the providers and ensuring that their concerns are addressed on sustainability of services and how disputes are resolved;

Service quality regulation referring to the quality of the service provided to a consumer as experienced by the consumer, which includes compliance to Section 9;

Price regulation being the primary function of economic regulation refers to ensuring sustainable and affordable tariffs throughout the value chain; ensuring that tariffs are cost reflective; compliance to Section 10 Regulations, which refer to the revenue recovered based on set tariffs and if not, how is the water services provision compensated for so that consumers are not disadvantaged; and

Competition regulation is related to the market structure (monopoly), which include for an enabling environment and relationships between relevant players in providing water services with linkage to contract regulation.

The Call for Papers appeal to the financing and economic sectors to contribute submission towards the topic on sustainability of water services provision towards compliance with current Economic Regulation processes and future philosophies, and sharing what the sectors are doing to meet the compliance requirements.

A highlight of the Conference will be the performance announcement within the Wastewater Services domain for 2012 to 2013. As part of the celebrated incentive-based regulation approach, exceptional performance will be awarded in terms of the coveted Green Drop Awards.

Conference Sessions - Preliminary Overview

The Conference will include the following:

Opening - Key Announcements will be made by Sector leadership

Plenary Session - This session will set the scene of the Conference

Technical Paper Sessions - Successful papers and Case Studies will be presented

Interactive Sessions - Practical workshops, panel discussions, and interactive debates will be designed to find solutions to current water services challenges

The Conference will focus on four disciplines, namely:

Wastewater management

Drinking Water Quality management

Sustainable Economic Municipal Environment and

Opportunities for partnerships across the sectors in pursuit of good stewardship and cross-pollination beneficiation.

Abstracts are to be submitted based on the following themes:

Wastewater Risk Assessment and Abatement

Water Safety Planning

Water Quality Monitoring Programmes

Wastewater contributions to Green Economics

Importance of Credible Laboratories

Research Findings to improve Water Quality Management

Effects of Climate Change on Municipal Water Quality Management

Water Reuse (Desalination and Reclamation)

Process Controlling

Alternative Treatment Technologies

Regulatory Issues and Findings

Information Management

Achievements within the municipality

Water Energy: A Sustainable Service

Benchmarking of the Municipal water Services Business

Water Services Governance

Final Date for Abstract Submission: 21 February 2013

Abstracts can be submitted via email to events@wisa.org.za. Submissions to clearly indicate if the abstract is intended for: oral paper or poster

Note: Abstracts will be adjudicated by the Municipal Water Quality Conference Organising Committee, after which all successful papers will be required to submit completed papers by 31 May 2013, in the required format (for publication in the 4th Municipal Water Quality Conference Proceedings, 2013).

Issued by: Department of Water Affairs

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