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Water Wise Policy


South Africa receives an average annual rainfall of 492 millimetres. South Africa is classified as a water-stressed country. Average rainfall in the Rand Water (RW) area of supply ranges between 617mm and 654mm. In South Africa (SA) water resources are under pressure from

  • a growing population and associated needs;
  • continuous development;
  • infrastructure challenges;
  • non-payment;
  • pollution;
  • wetland and water resource destruction;
  • alien invasive plants;
  • effects of climate change;
  • El Niño and other similar weather influences;
  • Droughts;
  • Illegal extraction of water from raw water sources as well as municipal sources such as pipelines.

The water resources available per person in SA are dwindling. Besides human and business needs, water is also required to sustain the environment. Most water systems in SA are already at the point of over-utilization. This trend cannot continue, and as a result water conservation is critical to all South Africans. Everybody must become Water Wise. Research has indicated that changing people’s behaviour requires ongoing effort and resources, both to spread awareness and to constantly reinforce the message. The Water Wise campaign is aimed at increasing awareness of the need to value water and to use it efficiently and sustainably. It focuses on all water users which include but is not limited to the green industry, hotel industry, business, recreation industry, bulk customers (such as municipalities and mines), general public, schools, tertiary institutions, local authorities and the press and media.

Purpose of Policy

For the purposes of Rand Water’s operations (Water Conservation and Water Demand Management are (see terms and definitions).

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework and basic guidelines for the use of the Water Wise brand within Rand Water. The Water Wise brand is a sub-brand of Rand Water, this policy provides guidelines on the use of this sub-brand “under” the Rand Water brand. RW through Water Wise promotes the wise use of water; it also forges partnerships and develops relationships, thereby bringing the Water Wise message to the “greater” RW supply area and other parts of South Africa and the world.

Purpose of Water Wise

 The purpose is to:

  • Provide a framework that promotes water conservation.
  • Provide a framework that deals with education and awareness campaigns.
  • Set up partnerships to conduct research and create awareness amongst the target audience.
  • Promote practical Water Wise products and practices aimed at decreasing water consumption in business, the home, green industry, garden and landscape. This includes and is not limited to:
    • Improving knowledge and advising on systems related to efficient landscaping, reinstatement, site maintenance, environmental management and climate change.
    • Contributing towards the best use of a scarce resource in support of water demand management, water conservation goals and climate change.
    • Researching the viability of new environmental technologies and methodologies, as these relate to efficient and sustainable water use.
    • Promoting business case scenarios for the benefits of being Water Wise, which includes many climate change related matters.
    • Promote the wise use of water resources and the natural environment so that the quality of water is not negatively impacted.
    • Encourage RW employees and customers, and future customers, to take ACTION to ensure the sustainability of all natural resources, i.e. water, air, land, etc. 


This includes the legislative guidelines, the reach of the brand, objectives of the brand and potential partnerships. The scope of Water Wise is to comply with legislation, while promoting environmental sustainability whether this be internally or externally of RW and where possible with mutually beneficial partnerships.

Legislative Mandate for existence of Water Wise

Water conservation is required in terms of the Water Services Act 108 of 1997 and various by-laws. Water conservation is also required to assist RW in fulfilling the requirements to achieve ISO14001, its corporate vision and customer service requirements.

Water Wise Reach and Method of Reach

The Water Wise target audience is all water users, which is mainly, but not limited, to RW’s area of service, irrespective of age. Water Wise reaches their target audience through print, visual and audio media, as well as specific campaigns, demonstration sites, ‘edutaining programmes, presentations, lectures, roadshows, exhibitions and events.(Below and Above the line placements).

Objectives of Water Wise

  • Produce informative public education and awareness campaigns and assist with requests.
  • Promote the wise, sustainable and efficient use of water.
  • Provide for exhibitions, campaigns, permanent displays (gardens, homes, etc.), demonstrations, media articles, press releases, brand endorsement, and other activities.
  • Education of children, tertiary students and teachers/lecturers through lectures, programmes, exhibitions, materials, etc.
  • Contribute towards and influence the curriculum of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to include water conservation.
  • Improve knowledge and advise RW staff, and their children, in terms of water conservation practices.
  • Conduct research on topics relevant to Water Wise.
  • Contribute towards water conservation initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and therefore reducing both carbon and water footprints.
  • Participate, and assist, with the organisation and promotion of forums, e.g.  Mining Forum, Water Services Forum (including the Horticultural forum), Gauteng Water Sector, Gauteng Environmental Education Forum, Catchment Forum, Water Forums in the Green Industry, Stakeholder Project Implementers Forum, etc.
  • To promote Water Wise as affecting business and their bottom-line in a positive light.


Where capacity exists and resources are available, education and training partnerships with the public sector, non-government organisations, private companies, Rand Water affiliates, etc. are encouraged and undertaken in the field of water conservation and the protection of the natural environment.

 Partnerships will also be entered into, for the use of the Water Wise brand logo as outlined in 5.2.

Water Wise Brand terms and Definitions

Water Wise Brand

The Water Wise® logo is registered as Rand Water’s environmental brand (Figure 1), and is the only official logo to be used.

This logo/brand together with the Rand Water logo shall be used for work either inside RW’s area of supply or nationally/internationally.

WW Logo with RW - Portrait











 WW logo with RW - Landscape




Figure 1. The registered Water Wise® logos, Rand Water’s environmental brand.

The official mascot to use is Manzi, the Tapduck (Figure 2).

Manzi 13a










Figure 2. Rand Water’s registered Water Wise® mascot, Manzi the Tapduck.


Specifications, rule, colour versions, pantone colours, fonts and styles for different applications for the use of the logos as well as the mascot are included in the Water Wise Corporate Identity Standards (CIS) manual. The Water Wise brand and mascot are registered to Rand Water in relevant categories according to trademark regulations.

WW logo without RW - Portrait 







WW logo without RW - Landscape






Action/Procedure Method

Water Wise Vision

“To promote the wise and sustainable use of water and the environment.”


  • To promote Rand Water’s Water Wise brand as an African leader in water conservation.
  • That the Water Wise principles promoted through the   brand be recognised as conventional for households and businesses.
  • That the brand be used for all water conservation, water demand management and environmental activities of Rand Water.
  • To instil the Water Wise message as the leading practically implemented aspect of water conservation/water demand management in Africa.


Water Wise Educational Pillars

The pillars of the Water Wise brand that apply to all sectors of the economy are: 


Have the utmost respect for water and all life, by nurturing it and enhancing its value.


Use water carefully and wisely in a sustainable manner and do not waste it.


Do not pollute water with liquid or solid waste, as this impacts on water resources.


Payment for water services allows for sustainable provision of this service.


Take action to solve any water related problems.


By conserving water, we are conserving our environment and ensuring the survival of all life on Earth. All life on Earth is connected.

WW Educational Pillars
 The pillars of being “Water Wise” are remembered by using the human hand as a tool, i.e. 5 fingers and a palm. This tool is used to portray the “Water Wise” message.

Water Wise identity manual

The production of adverts, advertorial, presentations, and branded items should conform to the Water Wise Identity Manual


The Water Wise pillars translate into Water Wise environmental principles, which are practiced within Rand Water and inform all environmentally related Water Wise initiatives:

  • Protect the environment:
    • Remove Listed Invasive Alien Plants and keep rivers and wetlands healthy in order to have sufficient unpolluted raw water.
    • Continuously monitor the water quality of source water in the catchment, and engage other stakeholders through forums to curb deteriorating water quality.
    • Control erosion and rehabilitate the landscape to protect those ecosystems with conservation value or those that provide valuable environmental services.
    • Conserve water and implement environmentally friendly principles to mitigate the effects of climate change (Greenhouse Gas reduction)
  • Apply sustainable development principles:
    • Use a holistic approach that caters for the needs of people and the environment.
    • Follow a “catchment - to - tap” approach in managing water quality.
  • Explore alternative sources of water:
    • Rainwater and stormwater harvesting, underground sources of water and the re-use of household grey water or treated wastewater.
  • Design and maintain landscapes according to Water Wise principles:
    • Encourage use of endemic Water Wise plants to create low maintenance and low water use gardens that support the aims of urban conservation.
  • Support responsible urban agriculture and food gardens:
    • Apply organic/ permaculture practices in combination with Water Wise principles where possible.
  • Design irrigation systems according to Water Wise principles and include water-saving technologies.
  • Address leaks, install water efficient systems and encourage efficient water use habits.

Water Wise Business

Business plays a vital role in conserving water and in ensuring that resources are not wasted, depleted or polluted. Education to this diverse sector is vital.

The business sector has a major impact on water resources, and the environment. It is essential that they play a role in conserving water and in ensuring that resources are not wasted, depleted or polluted. Education to this diverse sector is vital for the survival of businesses, water resources and the environment.

The Water Wise brand must be used environmentally related projects of Rand Water, according to the Corporate Identity Standard.

Water Wise endorsements will be considered, however each type of situation will be addressed separately as a business case.

Environmental Responsibility

It is critical that all Water Wise activities and actions of the Water Wise Team have the least negative impact on the environment. Examples include, but not limited to, day-to-day operations, projects, the type of paper used, the printing process, plastic used, promotional items, development of new WW facilities, etc. RW must also “practice what it preaches”. This must be included in the procurement process as well.

Responsibility and Authority

Water Wise Team

Each department of the team focuses on different aspects and draw their expertise from within the departments that they operate, thus making for a more comprehensive, successful and able Water Wise Team.

The Water Wise Team consists of the following subsidiaries/departments/sections:

  • Bulk Sanitation
  • Rand Water Foundation
  • Communications
  • Environmental Management Services (EMS)
  • Marketing and Stakeholder Relations
  • Water Demand Management (WDM)
  • Water Quality Specialist Services (WQSS)

The WW Team will co-ordinate activities on an annual rotational basis by a team member from EMS, WQSS or WDM.

Record & Data Keeping


Document Title

Document No.


Water Services Act 108

Act 108 of 1997


Corporate Identity Standards (RW)

CIS Manual


Document Change History


Previous revision number

New revision number

Description of each revision




Combination of all RW, Water Wise activities into a single policy document.





 See also:

What does it Mean to be Water Wise?
Open the Door to a Water Wise Home
The Water Situation in South Africa