And the ARUA Water Centre of Excellence
Grahamstown - South Africa
The objectives of the IWR are to contribute to the knowledge of and promote the understanding and wise use of natural water resources in southern Africa.
These objectives are achieved in a number of ways:
For information on Grahamstown and South African water resources and what you can do, please see the RU Environment page.
The Masters project has a specific focus on studying stakeholders' experiences of power relations in collaborative water governance.
The project will be linked into a wider transdisciplinary research team working with UK partners and with partners across 7 African countries.
The IWR operates using collective, co-operative Strategic Adaptive Management – the process we teach in Adaptive Water Resources Management, and practice in our engaged research projects. SAM comprises Adaptive Planning, Adaptive Implementation, Reflection and Review, and cycles back to planning in the light of change. We engage in a full Adaptive Planning Process biennially, and adaptive reflection and adjustment in the alternate years. Our weekly meetings include review and reflection on implementation progress through the year. 2020 saw the full Adaptive Planning Process facilitated on-line by Lucy O’Keeffe over three days.
“If you were to ask in the modern university how much engaged research there is, it would be very, very small and we are living in an era when society is pushing back at universities and saying, ‘for us to see that you are valuable we want to see you take the risk of getting in to the messy spaces of real life’.”
Professor Tally Palmer, Director of the Institute of Water Research, won the 2018 VC’s Distinguished Community Engagement Award for her championing of ‘engaged research’ – research that partners with communities and shares knowledge and information, rather than imposes knowledge or extracts information.
Instead of giving a lecture, Tally decided to engage and invited the community to a workshop – Makana: Water Works For Everyone. Hear what happened that night in the City Hall and find out more about a new kind of research for the 21stCentury.
You can listen to the full podcast here: https://iono.fm/e/733310#
The Institute for Water Research supports calls for an end to the use of single-use plastic water bottles except in emergency situations. The environmental and health consequences of the manufacture, transportation, use and disposal of these bottles are well documented. The Institute does not supply single-use plastic water bottles for meetings, alumni events, conferences, etc. and requires catering suppliers to comply with this. Both staff and students are encouraged to make use of multi-use water bottles.
Information on single use plastic can be obtained by following the link to the Makana Plastic Action Group https://www.facebook.com/MakanaPlasticAction/
Matthew Weaver, a PhD candidate at the Institute for Water Research was awarded the Rhodes University Environmental Award in the individual category. The award was in recognition for the extensive contributions he has made in participatory research processes to improve democratic water governance processes at a provincial and more markedly at a local governance scale in the Makana Local Municipality.
Matthew has been actively involved in the establishment and function of South Africa's first water and sanitation catchment management forum in which both water services and water resource management agendas are integrated. The forum is leading the way in the Eastern Cape in the development of a Water Plan for Makana, a plan that is inclusive of a wide range of stakeholder inputs. He, and Forum partners, have pioneered a Makana Water awareness campaign, taking Grahamstown Residents on an interactive tour of Grahamstown's water supply system. Building water-related awareness and influencing people's behavior in the Grahamstown community has also seen him conduct interactive presentations at Grahamstown schools.
Matthew was acknowledged not only for his contributions to inclusive and effective water governance practices but also for his academic contribution by publishing his work in peer reviewed journals.
The contribution of these efforts made Matthew a worthy recipient of the RU Environmental Individual reward.