Crocodile River project back on track

In November 2021 the Dutch team was finally able to meet their colleagues from the Blue Deal partnership in South Africa again. They visited the Crocodile River Project. The project is now ready to start again.

In the Blue Deal Crocodile River Project, the Dutch Water Authorities and South African partners work together with the objective to improve the quality of the Crocodile River.

Because of COVID-19 the project collaboration went on only via digital meetings. And few will deny, this was sometimes quite a challenge. Due to this, the project came to a halt. Fortunately, in November 2021 it was possible for the team to meet each other live again, which was very inspiring. Now the project is back on track.

Buhle Shongwe, technician Water Demand & Conservation: “We want to grab each and every opportunity, so we’re excited to be working once again with you.”

Threatening water hyacinth turns out to be a business opportunity in South Africa

The suffocating water hyacinth is a threat to water quality and biodiversity in South Africa. Together with the residents of Blesbokspruit, South Africa, the Blue Deal partners turned this threat into a business opportunity.

Residents weave beautiful baskets, lampshades and even armchairs from the dried plants and sell them. Watch how they do this in this short video.

Celebrating 10 years of cross-border cooperation in southern Africa

Regional water managers in the Netherlands, Germany, eSwatini, Mozambique and South Africa have been sharing experiences for ten years now. What binds them is how you work together in border regions.

From 17-19 November, the lustrum took place at the River and Environmental Management Cooperation in South Africa. Problems such as drought, flooding, climate change and women empowerment were discussed. The Deputy Minister of South Africa endorsed the importance of seeking solutions in the Blue Deal partnerships.

Lecture: solutions for complex water problems

The KIWI learning programme recently organised a lecture by professor Guy Alaerts about the unruly nature of international water management and solutions for complex water problems.

Water managers worldwide are looking for integrated solutions for complex water problems. Major investments are often required to become climate proof, but finding financing is difficult. Water managers and financial institutions do not know where to find each other and converting globally available financing into concrete projects on a large scale is difficult. Watch the lecture below. The lecture is in Dutch, but can be viewed with subtitles.

Community involvement in South Africa

More than 200 participants took part in the webinar on community involvement in South Africa on 21th April 2021. Various stakeholders in the field of water use, water resources and water resources met online to discuss water scarcity and community involvement in South Africa.

The webinar presentation by Ms. T. Sigwaza, who represented the national central South African government, highlighted how important she finds community involvement in issues related to water resource management. Water users, water sources and water supplies come together as interests in a context of water scarcity.

View the webinar on community involvement

Water challenges

The Umgeni River is strategically the most important in the KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa. The river system is faced with a myriad of challenges, including alien and invasive plants, riverside erosion, streamside cultivation, agricultural effluent releases, sewage and factory discharge, unlawful dumping, illegal sand mining and broad-spectrum pollution. Fortunately, several people and organizations are confronting these challenging issues.

Community project

The Duzi Umgeni Conservation Trust made a video about their work to shape community involvement with the Amanzi Ethu Nobuntu project. A group is working on cleaning up the riverbed, removing invasive plants from the river and carrying out small-scale repairs to the sewage systems.

Video of the Amanzi Ethu Nobuntu project in South Africa

Study: water management knowledge exchange

TU Delft and Erasmus University, in collaboration with Dutch Water Authorities, have launched a study into water management knowledge exchange. The universities are investigating which lessons the Dutch regional water authorities take abroad.

Meeting room with people seated at tables for a traning session. One man is stood, giving a presentation.
Dutch Water Authorities and local partners attending a training session.

As part of the study into water management knowledge exchange university researchers are looking at the lessons learned at an individual level, group level and organisational level. The aim is to find out exactly what effect these lessons have on organisations.


A questionnaire is sent out via the Dutch Water Authorities foreign coordinators. It is hoped that insight can be gained into the possibilities and limiting factors of international knowledge sharing.

More on Dutch Water Authorities and knowledge exchange

Blue Deal Annual plan 2021

The 2021 annual plan of the Blue Deal programme has been approved by the steering committee. The partnerships will continue their work in 2021 to improve water management in 14 countries.

Two men inspecting a waste water treatment plant.

The focus of the Blue Deal Annual plan 2021 is on three crucial elements: sufficient knowledge and skills, a well-functioning organisation and collaboration with key stakeholders.

Online learning

As COVID-19 continues into 2021, the Blue Deal partnerships focus on online learning and training in the first six months. This is not easy in all countries, for example due to slow internet connections or recently initiated partnerships. Therefore, the partnerships also focus on additional local representation. Dutch Water Authorities hopes to physically meet its partners again in the second half of 2021.

More on the Blue Deal