Evaluation of WSUD options at different scales in Johannesburg

In Johannesburg, we have developed a list of already-implemented nature-based solutions (>150 installations) that have been adopted as a consequence of the Stormwater By-Law and/or the recently published Stormwater Manual. An initial analysis of this list has highlighted what works, what doesn’t, and where there are missed opportunities, etc. – both in relation to water management practices themselves, as well as in respect of the governance of these solutions and their integration into the urban water cycle and legislative / policy processes. Seven sites were identified as possible cases, with two selected for more detailed follow-up, as well as the hosting of transition arena discussion sessions (see Appendix C for details of these two study sites).

Covid restrictions have resulted in delays with water quality monitoring / testing at these sites, as well as the required engagement in the field. We are, however, partnering with other organisations (e.g. ICLEI, ‘Water for the future’ interest group) and researchers (Wits University) that are working on similar case sites to share data. Furthermore, an online survey was developed and sent to approximately 200 practitioners, officials, consultants and experts in the field of water management, to get an insight into how the new stormwater manual works and what the main challenges are in moving towards water resilience in Johannesburg. The results of this survey will be used to develop themes for a targeted number of online focus group discussions (5 to 6 people at each discussion), with participants chosen from the list of survey participants.