The Institute of Natural Resources is an applied research organisation. We are the preferred knowledge provider, strategic and operational supporter, capacity developer, and advocate for the natural resource and environmental management sectors in southern Africa.
Partnering with government, civil society, the private sector and other leading research organisations we develop cutting edge solutions to support the resolution of natural resource challenges; we provide advice to practitioners, researchers and policy makers; we integrate effort; we build the capacity of graduate professionals to operate effectively in the workplace; and we advocate an environmentally secure future for all. We are an independent, non-profit, public benefit organisation committed to serving the people of southern Africa.
The services we supply, across southern Africa, include but are not limited to:
- Applied research in natural resources, environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, agriculture, sustainable livelihoods and rural development
- Strategic and operational support for sectoral and multi-disciplinary implementation programmes
- Support of both public and private policy development
- Specialist studies across the spectrum of socio-ecological systems
- Environmental assessment and reporting at various scales
- The development of natural resource and agriculturally focused institutional and governance systems
- Land-use assessment and conservation planning
- Customised education, capacity development and training in all aspects of our work
- Developing and supporting the implementation of geographic, ecological and sectoral information management systems
- Innovative stakeholder engagement and consultation
- Monitoring of various environmental parameters.
The Institute of Natural Resources is a registered Non-profit Organisation (028-756-NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation (18/11/13/44/94).
The INR is a member of the IUCN (Membership No. NG/672)
– Highlights –
World Wetlands Day at Greater Edendale Mall (GEM) – 02 February 2017
South African Society of Geographers (SSAG) Student Conference
Congratulations to Adwoa who won the Best Masters Poster award at this years’ South African Society of Geographers (SSAG) Student Conference in Stellenbosch held on 23 – 25 September 2016!
Her poster was entitled “Developing an approach for using existing wetland assessment tools to determine the rehabilitation potential of wetlands for improving water quality in the Baynespruit Catchment, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal”. Salona Reddy and Samiksha Singh also attended the conference and can be seen below with their posters.
21st Annual IAIAsa National Conference 2016
The INR was well represented at the IAIAsa 2016 National Conference held on 17 – 19 August, the Boardwalk, Port Elizabeth.
This year’s theme was: “ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE & CHALLENGES: Resilience, Adaptation & Sustainability” promise to encompass:
- Adapting and responding to environmental change
- Energy and sustainability
- Regulating for environmental change
- The role of business in integrated environmental management
- The future of sustainable development
The conference was attended by Dianne Sennoga, Samiksha Singh and Kusasalthu Sithole.
Kusasalethu Sithole – intern and masters student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal – officially launches the IAIAsa Student Mentorship Programme (ISMP) at the IAIAsa 2016 National Conference.
Samiksha Singh, Kusasa Sithole, Dianne Sennoga.
– Popular Articles –
What might we learn from Cape Town’s water crisis?
Midmar and Spring Grove spilling over; Albert Falls up from 20 to 30% in a few weeks, and Umgeni Water threatening to lift restrictions – all is good so it’s time to sit back, sip genteelly on a midlands cappuccino or G&T, and celebrate that we have not ‘semigrated’ to the Western Cape.
Let’s not relax too quickly. It is now, in this time of plenty that we have the space to plan and act without being dictated to by an imminent crisis. In planning and acting what can we learn from Cape Town’s experience?
First and most obviously, it has taken a crisis of huge proportions for Cape Town residents to redefine their relationship with water. It is only in this last year or two that these residents and their government have grown to appreciate water’s real value and, as a result, behaviour has changed. We need to learn from them without being subjected to the same crisis.
What have been the results of this behaviour change in Cape Town? Non-revenue water – that is water that leaks out, is stolen or not paid for – sits at 15%. Cape Town has demonstrated that an African city can achieve the global benchmark; that it is possible to restrict the leaks, stop theft and collect the revenue it is owed.
For Durban (eThekwini), which is by far the largest water user in our area, non-revenue water is 39%! Durban, please stop shouting and screaming that we should build another insanely expensive dam on the uMkhomazi River and start working on the leaks. By my crude estimate, if eThekwini could halve its leaks it would save us in the region of 40 to 50 million cubic metres of processed drinking water per annum. That is over 10% of Umgeni Water’s entire production.
That is behaviour change at the municipal level but what about amongst the residents? Through a combination of encouragement, coercion, penalties and incentives – actually, some very cleverly thought-out psychological manipulation – the per capita consumption of water in Cape Town has been halved, from about 250 litres of water per day to 125 litres per day.
All this has happened despite the fractious political relationship between the DA controlled metropole and the ANC led national government. Imagine what might have been achieved with better cooperation.
In the uMngeni system we supply about 4 million people and their businesses with 400 million cubic metres of water annually which translates into 270 litres per person per day. We are being criminally wasteful, particularly as a large proportion of the catchment’s residents get very little or none at all.
The bottom-line is that, were we to intervene more gradually and in a less extreme way than Cape Town and, at the same time, start introducing more rainwater harvesting, recycling and other conservation systems, we could still halve domestic and industrial water demand in ten years. This is not a dream; it is entirely feasible.
But doing this without other interventions would result not in a dream but in a nightmare. First and very practically, we have to redesign or retrofit our urban sewer systems. As many parts of Europe are discovering sewers are designed with a particular flow in mind. If, through conservation, we reduce the flow sewers don’t work very well. But, therein is an opportunity because many of our urban sewers are broken and require replacement anyway.
The second problem is that if were to start conserving water like crazy and fixing the leaks, revenue to Umgeni Water and the municipalities would decline and they would be unable to maintain the infrastructure that delivers the service. In Cape Town the reduction in revenue through water saving is estimated at R 1.6 billion annually. That is one third of Umgeni Water’s entire turnover. Concurrent with other interventions a complete overhaul of water pricing needs to take place.
So, right now, time is on our side. Let’s use it effectively and creatively to realise the single greatest competitive advantage we have in this place we call home; our abundant supply of water of unmatched natural quality.
Duncan Hay is the executive director of the Institute of Natural Resources and an associate research fellow of the UKZN.