International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2569

Full Length Research Paper

Towards a more sustainable surface raw water tariff structure in the Vaal basin: A situational analysis

Bloodless Dzwairo1*, Fred A. O. Otieno2 and George M. Ochieng3
  1Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology, Durban University of Technology, P.O. Box 1334, Durban, 4000, South Africa. 2Deputy Vice Chancellor: Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Durban University of Technology, P.O. Box 1334, Durban, 4000, South Africa. 3Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 April 2011
  •  Published: 16 November 2011



With an increasingly urbanised population, further study was necessary to determine if water could be used more efficiently by applying efficient tariff structures in combination with decision support tools in the form of models. This paper highlighted challenges towards establishing a sustainable surface raw water tariff structure. Limitations of using the pollute-pays principle for setting a surface raw water tariff structure within a highly urbanised environment were noted. A tariff structure in the Upper and Middle Vaal Water management Areas which are part of the Vaal basin in South Africa was shown to promote inequity such that a downstream user paid more for using more polluted water.  Recommendations specific to the Vaal basin included adopting a user-pays principle and also use of a model that incorporated variability in surface raw water quality for tariff setting and also for purposes of predicting potable water treatment costs.


Key words: Polluter-pays principle, sustainable tariff structure, urbanised population, user-pays principle, Vaal basin.



BWDC, Bulk Water Distribution Cost; DWA, Department of Water Affairs; DWAF, Department of Water and Environmental Affairs; RWAT, Raw Water Abstraction Tariff; TCTAC, Trans-Caledon-Tunnel Authority charge; WB; Water Board; WBs, Water Boards; WRCL, Water Research Commission Levy.