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Weather Smart Water Resources Management in South Africa – Mission accomplished!


On Monday the 16th April, Agnes Maenhout kicked off the course 'Weather Smart Water Resources Management' in Nelspruit, South Africa. Trainers from South Africa and The Netherlands gave this new course to employees of the IUCMA (Inkomati - Usuthu Catchment Management Agency). The participants were assembled in a lodge with a nice and calm environment, far from their office to fully be dedicated and concentrated to learn.

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IUCMA is responsible for water management in South Africa across the basin of the Komati and Usuthu rivers. In this area the fair distribution of water, cooperation with stakeholders and ecological and economic aspects play a big role. Good water management and use of sufficient weather data leads to better decision making in water management and communication to stakeholders. The team executing this Nuffic-funded project consisted of Dutch and South African organizations: World Water Academy / AquaDactics, Hydrologic, South African Weather Services and Kingfisher (Water Authority Drents Overijsselse Delta and Water Authority Limburg).

Modular course

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The purpose of this three modular course of seven days was to train employees of the IUCMA in water resource management in combination of  weather predictions. and the use of dashboards such as Hydronet. In the first  module the basic knowledge on water quality (photo 1), water quantity (photo 2) and the relationship between both was discussed and applied to the situation in South Africa (photo 3). In the second module on Weather & Water Management, participants predicted weather conditions and practiced with rain gauges. To ultimately be able to translate this information and knowledge into advise about how weather information can be used in water management. A third module was dedicated to the practical use of Hydronet as dashboard of the South African CMAs.

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Action-learning approach

World Water Academy used the action-learning approach to design the modules and to develop the materials. The learning efficiency and thus the learning result is proven to be higher when using this approach where participants are actively involved in the course execution. They shared experiences and awareness on the integration of water quality and water quantity grew. As results the participants showed great enthusiasm in group work on the examples and assignments.

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Training of Trainer

The aim of this project is to roll-out this course to all CMAs in South Africa. That is why a Train de Trainer course is given for a select group of employees of IUCMA. This group are supposed to become local trainers to provide training to peers at the other CMAs. The future trainers learned how to use a training program with activating teaching methods. During this training parts of the Weather Smart Water Resources Management program has been used as example. The participants experienced how to perform well as a trainer, how participants learn, how an audience keep listening and how to manage your time! The impact of good preparation, passionate training delivery, using activating methods and time management was highlighted.

Well-received course

Participants gave enthusiastic feedback on the course. They highlighted the content provided and the interactive way in which this course was delivered. We, as trainers, looked back to an exciting and energizing week with a big smile on our face.

For more information about this project, please contact Agnes Maenhout.