Wetskills-South Africa 2018

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Wetskills-South Africa 2018

June 16 - June 27

About The Event

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Back to South Africa!

The Wetskills Foundation invites Bachelor, Master, PhD students and recent graduates to apply for the fourth Wetskills Water Challenge program in South Africa. This Wetskills edition will take you to the vibrant coastal city of Cape Town for two weeks, visiting interesting and relevant water-related as well as cultural sites. The finals and awarding session are organized at the Biannual WISA Conference.

Apply for this amazing Wetskills edition, Cape Town 2018, if you want to be inspired by Capetonian city vibe, the South-African culture and the always present view on Lion’s Head and the Table Mountains that drops precipitously into the glittering sea!  

We are looking for students and Young Professionals from universities and organisations from South Africa, The Netherlands and other nationalities who are passionate about water and excited to work in mixed teams for transdisciplinary water solutions. Apply for Wetskills South Africa 2018 (period: 15- 28 June 2018).

Application deadlines

Deadline for application and first selection: 1 April 2018 (only positions left for South African candidates)


Participation costs for international participants is 350 euros. The fee includes accommodation in Cape Town, programme costs, supervision, some social activities, field trips including transport, working locations, presentations by experts. It does not include transportation to Cape Town, local transport, daily meals and other daily costs. Registration to the WISA Conference (approx. 200 euros) is also excluded. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses (like plane tickets and some local travel), meals during working days, other personal costs and registration for the WISA Conference Cape Town 2018.

Applications of South African students and Young Professionals will pass the Department of Water and Sanitation. DWS will provide the fees for 15 participants, therefore DWS will select the South-African participants.

Alumni participants often successfully arranged financial compensation for their Wetskills participation from their university or employer. We therefore strongly encourage applicants to inquire about funding opportunities to compensate the costs (university mobility funds, travel allowance etc.).

More information

For more information about participating this event, contact Alisa Doornhof (alisa.doornhof@wetskills.com). For more information about Wetskills, contact Johan Oost (johan.oost@wetskills.com). 

Practical Information

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Registration deadlines

1 April 2018 (only positions left for South African candidates)

(15 Positions for South African candidates available via Department for Water & Sanitation, registration via Wetskills website.)

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Cape Town

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Event Cases

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The Wetskills organization is always looking for Case Owners, companies/organisations that formulate their case and support the Wetskills programmes worldwide. For more information: Leaflet Case Sponsors Wetskills-South Africa 2018 and contact Johan Oost (johan.oost@wetskills.com).

Case 1: The spark for accelerating practical training investments

Case owner: AquaDactics (South Africa)

Investing in staff and training is inevitable for a healthy and efficient water sector. Recent years Non Profit Company AquaDactics was founded to sustain training activities in the South Africa in a self-supportive way. AquaDactics’ philosophy of creating and maintaining a Pool of local Trainers and development of training material with a focus on the practice was co-created, spread and acknowledge by various partners in the South African water sector. However it is still waiting for a spark to get this rolling. How can we create this spark in coming year?

Case 2: Transboundary basin management: the challenge of creating a win-win situation

Case owner: Department of Water Affairs Lesotho

Water is one of the most important natural resources of Lesotho. The unique geographic location positions Lesotho as the ‘Water Tower’ of Southern Africa. Its wetlands sustain the perennial water flow of a.o the Senqu-Orange river system, shared by three other riparian states: South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Unfortunately, the water system in Lesotho is threatened by degradation and climate change, and so are its downstream communities in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana – who are for their economic activities and water availability very much depending on quality water coming from Lesotho’s upstream part of catchments. Can you find ways for the downstream riparians to influence the situation in the upstream watershed, of which they are extremely dependent?

Case 1: Floods and droughts: keeping the public awareness after the crisis

Case owner: Water Authority Drents Overijsselse Delta

Water infrastructure as dams and dikes have long protected societies from too little or too much water. Citizens are however unaware of the means necessary to achieve water security. The exception are extreme events, when dams run empty of dikes fail, then people are aware. As extreme weather patterns intensify and societies have become more dependent on their water resources, it is critical to keep citizen awareness alive to reduce the impacts and consequences in case a flood or drought occurs.

Case 4: A YES to Water Revenue Collection with…

Case owner: Kingfisher programme & Water Authority Rijnland

Paying for water management and treatment is a real challenge in parts of South Africa. Last year approximately 160 municipalities did not paid a cent of their water bills, although it is written in national laws that for water use and water pollution should be paid. Since the Dutch waterboards have a long- standing relation with many parties in the South-African water sector, there may be opportunities to collaborate on the issue of ‘the polluter pays’, and see what works and what does not in the Dutch setting that could be implemented in the South-African system, and vice versa. From this comparative analysis, can you think of creative ways of how more willingness can be created in both countries to have polluters (sustainably) pay for water?

Case 5: Climate Scan in African Cities

Case owner: Tauw

Climate change is here to stay, so we have to adapt. From surveys around the world (but mainly from Europe) it is concluded that people are in need of Best Management Practices (BMP) to motivate them to implement climate adaptation measures: both technical and governance aspects. International interactive open source tools (in our case www.climatescan.nl, check it out!) are used to promote engagement with stakeholders in the field of climate change and related environmental issues. But their potential is often not fully utilised. Can you help us with the question how to promote climate adaptation specifically in Africa, and make stakeholders implement and share their BMPs?

Case 6: Avoid Day Zero due to lowering Capetonians’ Water Footprint

Case owner: City of Cape Town & Water Footprint Implementation

Cape Town was suffering the most serious drought in recent years. In 2018, the forecasts even warned for a Day Zero: the day when supply would come to an end. A large water saving campaign was (successfully) launched to lower the individual direct water consumption to almost a quarter of the normal use, at 50 l per capita per day. However, looking at the total Water Footprint of consumption, this direct water use is only just over 1% of the total of 3400 l per capita that is consumed each day. The remaining 99% of the water consumption is hidden in the production and use of cloths, food, drinks, transportation, etc. Taking measures in that 99% ‘hidden’ water use may lead to lower scarcity levels in the future, at perhaps a lower effort than for the direct consumption?

Previous events in South Africa

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Event Partners

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DWA Lesotho_

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June 16
June 27
Event Category:


University of Cape Town
Rondebosch 7701
Cape Town, Western Province South Africa


Johan Oost
Rick Hogeboom
Alisa Doornhof
Graham van Niekerk