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Durban University of Technology (DUT) 2021

The water crisis in Durban : an analysis of the role of households in water conservation

Ngcobo, Mbuso

Titre : The water crisis in Durban : an analysis of the role of households in water conservation

Auteur : Ngcobo, Mbuso

Université de soutenance : Durban University of Technology (DUT)

Grade : Master of Management Sciences in Public Administration 2021

The continued water crisis in South Africa is causing many municipalities to exhibit performance problems in water service delivery. While South Africa is a water-scarce country, factors like population growth, climate change, urbanisation, and economic development contribute to water shortages. This implies that new and innovative ways of managing freshwater resources should be adopted. This study aims to examine the role of households in water conservation in the city of Durban. The study fulfils four main objectives to achieve this aim. The first objective is to establish the daily water consumption behavioural practices of households. Secondly, the study seeks to establish the households’ willingness to adopt water-saving technologies. Thirdly, it seeks to identify the factors preventing households from practising water-saving behaviours. Furthermore, the study finally seeks to recommend some possible solutions that the eThekwini Municipality could adopt to promote households’ water conservation.

The study uses a mixed methods approach where quantitative and qualitative data are separately collected, analysed, and discussed. Quantitative data is collected through a survey conducted on 300 household heads residing across different spatial residential areas. On the other hand, qualitative data is collected from seven (7) employees in the Water and Sanitation Unit of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. The thematic approach is then used to analyse the qualitative data, while descriptive statistics and probit regression models analyse the quantitative data.

Four key findings are reported in the study. First, the study found that households in the city of Durban generally practice water-efficient behaviours in their daily water consumption activities. Secondly, the type of access to potable water services was the primary determinant for practising water-efficient behaviours. Third, more residents in the suburbs and townships have water-efficient technologies installed, while none of the respondents from the informal settlements has such technologies installed. Lastly, some biographical characteristics emerged as crucial determinants of water consumption behaviour and the adoption of water-efficient technologies. Key recommendations are given based on these findings


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Page publiée le 10 janvier 2023