FETWater, Framework Programme for Research, Education and Training in Water, South Africa
Launched in 2002 by UNESCO and with financial support from FUST and the South African government, FETWater ( www.fetwater.co.za ) is a programme that supports training and capacity building networks in integrated water resource management in the water sector in South Africa.
In 1996 the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry requested support from UNESCO and WMO to assess education and training needs for integrated water resources management in South Africa, as these would have resulted from the newly developed Water Act. The limited capacity of the then Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and the water sector in general, to implement the future Water Act, was one of the main conclusions of the assessment. Hence, FETWATER aims developing and transferring knowledge so that the critical mass of water scientists is created and maintained, and facilitate the process of the implementation of the Act. The creation of knowledge and its transfer is conducted via small training networks, which are composed of the leading individuals and Institutions in the country at each thematic area.
FETWater is currently at the end of its second phase (2007-2010), having established seven networks:
Activities within those networks include:
By the end of 2009, 1052 professionals in the South African water sector received training through the FETWater programme. Concurrently, a vast amount of training material has been produced, and two groundwater tests sites were developed at the universities of Pretoria and KwaZulu-Natal. Emphasis is given in the training of women and previously disadvantaged individuals.