Sasol's action plan for water security working beyond the factory fence-line
After reviewing various water conservation opportunities, Sasol came to realise that significantly reducing the demand for water from its direct operations would not have the largest impact on achieving water security across the catchment area. In fact, one of the biggest contributions to reducing the risk of insufficient water supply could be made by addressing water losses in the surrounding communities located in the same catchment area. As a result, Sasol has decided to focus on addressing physical water losses in surrounding municipalities. Sasol understands the constraints on the capacity of national and local government, as well as limits on funding: unless something is done collectively about it now, the required water-saving interventions are unlikely to be adequate to mitigate the risk of water shortages.
Sasol has taken the initiative and has concluded three multi-stakeholder partnership agreements to help reduce physical losses in the catchment area within which it operates. It will do this through water conservation partnerships with local municipalities and by supporting a programme which repairs household water leaks as well as leakages from distribution pipelines. So far, Sasol has committed R8 million to support these partnerships, with a committed leveraged partner funding of R9 million. Through this collective action, beyond its direct operations, the company aims to unlock substantial savings to enable municipalities to sustainably fund and implement further water conservation projects. It also plans to use these partnership projects as case studies for the development of a national water offsetting model in collaboration with the South African Department of Water Affairs.