On 4 July 2008, Science and Technology Deputy Minister, Derek Hanekom unveiled the first ever Communal Water House in South Africa in the village of Jansenville in the Eastern Cape.
The demonstration unit comprises technologies for water and solar energy use as well as low-water consumption sanitation methods. [...]. It allows residents to use potable water for drinking and cooking, and to apply grey water recycling to re-use the water for laundry, sanitation and irrigation. [...] Water use is further improved as heating is done via solar panels.
There are plans to roll out the service to between 200 to 800 people in other municipalities.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has invested R21 million in the project.
The project web site mentions that “water use efficiency is by 2-3 times higher than in conventional systems. Therefore, much more people can be serviced by the same amount of water. Energy need is by 100.000 kWh per year lower. Solar energy is used instead of fossil fuels. Therefore, no connection to centralized electricity supply is necessary. Climate effect is equal to 30 tons of carbon dioxide equivalentsper year per unit and therefore contributes to climate improvement measures”.