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SU's water optimisation project recognised internationally
Author: Petro Mostert
Published: 14/05/2020

​Stellenbosch University's (SU) sustainable water optimisation project was the runner-up in this year's International Sustainability Campus Network's (ISCN) awards 2020.

 SU's Facilities Management Division entered the University's water optimisation project in the ISCN's Whole Systems Approach category. Charlmers University of Technology and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology came first in this category.

SU's innovative grey water system, electronic meters along with several other water reduction interventions formed part of this larger water optimisation project. Phase one of the grey water system on main campus recorded a 50% reduction in municipal potable water consumption and a 50% reduction in irrigation water usage. The system collects shower water at the residences, treats it and sends it back into the system to be used for flushing toilets.

Nadeem Gafieldien, Director of Property Services at SU's Facilities Management Division, says SU is the first institution of higher learning in South Africa to undertake a water optimisation and grey water project at such a big scale. “We are extremely proud to have been recognised in this manner by the ISCN."

Gafieldien says this system change to SU's facilities builds resilience in the water supply system and places the University on a sustainable trajectory to withstand future environmental shocks, such as the severe drought the country experienced in 2017. “The greywater system is part of an integrated approach to sustainability at the SU."

The next phase of the project will see the implementation of this system in all of the academic buildings on SU's various campuses. 

The ISCN provides an international forum to support higher education institutions in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching.

For media enquiries

Petro Mostert

M 082 334 6193