African Utility Week 2014: water security high on conference agenda


As part of African Utility Week’s (AUW) two-day water conference track in May 2014, there is a high-level panel discussion on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus and realising Africa’s development agenda.

The nexus is a visionary method of achieving sustainability by integrated solutions that address the interconnections within water, energy and food security.

The panel moderator will be Paul T. Yillia of SE4All, the UN Secretary General’s initiative on sustainable energy for all.

Mr Yillia said: “The nexus debate at African Utility Week will be specifically about Africa and for Africa.

“We will cover topics such as investment opportunities for developing Africa’s water and energy infrastructure, i.e. innovative private sector participation, private public partnerships, and the water and energy linkages with food production systems and improvement of livelihoods.”

City of Cape Town
The City of Cape Town’s Director Water & Sanitation Peter Flower will be part of the panel dialogue: “The impact of climate change is predicted to have significant influence on water supply, energy provision and agriculture.

“There is the debate around water use for urban areas and to allow people to live dignified and comfortable lives versus agriculture and the need to produce food.

“While in Cape Town we have been able to minimise the reliance on electricity for operating our water supply infrastructure (due to our topography and design of our water supply system), many of the possible future water supply schemes have high energy requirements.”

Other topics on the water programme include cherry-picked case studies in water infrastructure and resource development solutions, and a debate for and against pre-paid water metering.

Says African Utility Week’s programme director Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl: “South Africa is a water-stressed country and the flooding we have recently experienced causes more damage than good – dams can’t operate effectively when over capacity and sewerage gets into the system causing water borne disease to spread.

“Furthermore, water utilities face challenges with future global water consumption increasing at least 20% by 2050 in the agricultural sector alone, raising the pressure on water resources.”

About AUW
The 14th African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and expo is taking place at the CTICC in Cape Town from 13-14 May 2014. It is attended by more than 5,000 power and water professionals from more than 30 African countries and 70 worldwide.