Communal Water House

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Supply of clean water for everybody is one of the most urgent problems in the world. Actually, an un-sufficient supply of tap water adversely influences the living conditions of several billions of people, especially in developing countries. The problem will grow more and more, due to population growth, climate change and resource exploitation. In The Republic of South Africa the solving of the water problem is high ranking in the governmental agenda, since in South African Constitution, supply of water is guaranteed for everybody. Activities are urgently necessary for rural people, especially previously disadvantaged South African citizens.

Communal Water House

Rational management of water resources is the most promising approach to tackle the problem. The Communal Water House (CWH) is a modern approach to solve the problem in a sustainable way and helps to improve the living conditions of people especially in rural regions of developing countries.

CWH was developed by German and South-African partners supported by the German Government and the National Research Foundation of South Africa. CWH comprises facilities for laundry, sanitation, and communal services in a communication centre. It consists of four long term proven modules of sustainable technologies, successfully applied worldwide, combined in an innovative manner, including water recycling for high quality service water (after EU regulation), water heating by solar energy, solar air conditioning and solar water pumping, as well as modern sanitation. CWH results in an improved water supply, higher water use efficiency and better sanitary conditions for rural people at low costs.

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Water use efficiency is by 2-3 times higher than in conventional systems. Therefore, much more people can be serviced by the same amount of water. Energy need is by 100.000 kWh per year lower. Solar energy is used instead of fossil fuels. Therefore, no connection to centralized electricity supply is necessary. Climate effect is equal to 30 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year per unit and therefore contributes to climate improvement measures.

German-South African Project

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the South African Department of Science and Technology are the funding institutions for the project which is jointly realized by a consortium of German and R.S.A. firms and institutions. The project is currently implemented in the Ikwezi Local Municipality in E.C.-Provinz. Ikwezi is situated in a very dry region and suffers from a very bad water quality. 

Project time schedule

Project period is two years, starting in 2007, and includes scientific research to adopt technologies to local needs, construction of an experimental and demonstration unit, on-site processing to prove performance under practical conditions due to the needs of the people. Every activity will be realized in close co-operation with the Ikwezi Local Municipality and the regional stakeholders.

Result of the project will be a CWH facility which will demonstrate the technology in a rural community and make clear the benefits for people, environment, and economy.

© 2010 Marcel Kruse ¶ Comunal Water House