South Africa's Department of Water and Sanitation is opening a water control room in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province. The new facility, also known as HydroNET, provides accurate weather data to national agencies to anticipate drought risks and ensure sustainable and efficient management of the remaining water resources.
Like most countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, South Africa is affected by drought. The phenomenon is drying up the country’s waterways and some regions are more affected than others. The objective of the South African government is to rationalize the use of available water resources. With this in mind, the South African Department of Water and Sanitation opened a water control room in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province on May 4, 2022.
The new center, called “HydroNET” will be used by the catchment management agencies to acquire real-time weather data through various dashboards, reports and other tools. The system installed in the new control room also identifies sites where water resources are still available. This allows for the generation of insights, forecasts and warnings based on the local knowledge obtained.
This information will improve the efficiency of water professionals, including making “transparent and accountable” decisions about water management and allocation, says the South African Department of Water and Sanitation.
The department was supported by the South African Weather Service (SAWS), which oversees the control room, HydroLogic, eLEAF, the Dutch water authority, with which South Africa has been collaborating for 10 years, and the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA). A training program will equip South African professionals in various watershed management agencies on meteorology, water auditing and HydroNET equipment management.