Call for proposals for the 2017 Innovation Grant: Water Security


Call for proposals for the 2017 Innovation Grant: Water Security

June 2017


Last year the Joint Task Team, the structure that coordinates the work of the CHEC – WCG partnership, introduced an Innovation Grant of R 100 000. 

The purpose of this grant is to encourage university researchers, in partnership with WCG policy-makers, to consider new approaches, methodologies and interventions for addressing the seemingly intractable problems facing the Province. This year the focus will be on the challenges of ensuring water security and the need to plan for and support sustainable and inclusive development.  

Globally, water security is recognised as being a major risk to society, especially to the poor. The World Economic Forum lists water crises within the top 10 risks most likely to impact and disrupt economic stability and growth. The Western Cape has acknowledged water as a provincial risk as well and needs to take the necessary steps, together with local government, to ensure water security now and into the future. A shortage of water due to climate change, poor land use and catchment management or failing infrastructure affects both the quantity and quality of water. The impact on economic sectors and job creation threaten to undermine the service delivery gains made over the past two decades. The time has come for unusual and innovative solutions to be found to our water security concerns. It is notable that the World Water Development Report (WWDR) focused on wastewater as an “untapped resource” (March 2017). 

The challenge to secure a resilient, sustainable, quality and inclusive living environment, hinges on progress made on the ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. These challenges have been recognised in the Provincial Strategic Goals (PSGs)  and resonate with the Programme of Action developed by the Joint Task Team. 

Given the complexities and interconnections of seemingly intractable challenges, the Joint Task Team is calling for proposals that are innovative in approach, involve multi or interdisciplinary research groups, and that include opportunities for sharing ideas derived from existing research and/or to inform new research. It is likely that proposals will include groups of researchers from various departments and could include researchers from the different universities within the province.

As can be seen in the application form attached, the proposals need to include the names of WCG partners (Departments and individual staff members) who have agreed to participate in the research and to outline their role(s) in the project.

Submissions may include activities required for the development of research programmes or for activities where existing research results are considered, ‘translated’ and/or widely disseminated. In either case, the work should contribute to the development of policy interventions.


We invite university researchers to submit proposals for innovative work in areas related to the challenges associated with water security and the need to provide for resilient growth in areas such as food security, water sensitive design for settlements, investment in ecological Infrastructure and green infrastructure), agriculture, climate change, skills development and employment, behaviour change, use patterns and perceptions regarding water sources and technologies and social inclusion. 

Lead researchers are invited to submit their proposals to the institutional representatives on the Joint Task Team by Monday 31 July 2017. 

Institutional representative:

UCT – Sonwabo Ngcelwane (

The application form is in the link below, see Appendix A. It provides for the inclusion of information on:
•    The lead researcher 
•    Additional researchers from the same university or from other universities in the province
•    Project partners in the WCG
•    Title of the research project
•    Background to the project (rationale, motivation and explanation of how the project aligns with the call and its requirements)
•    Project objectives
•    Project activities
•    Envisaged outputs and outcomes
•    Roles of researchers and project partners
•    Timeframe and work plan
•    Budget (see note below) 

Please also note the following:
•    The details of all researchers and their envisaged roles in the project must be clearly indicated. 
•    The proposed budget needs to be justified in terms of project activities and outcomes/outputs. The costs of salaries, equipment and travel beyond the Western Cape cannot be funded.
•    Where necessary, requests to the Joint Task Team to assist with facilitating connections between university and WCG Departments and staff should be sent to as soon as possible.  
•    Any additional funding received and/or expected from other sources (e.g. the NRF) must be fully declared in the application. 

Selection will follow the two-step process used in previous CHEC – WCG research funding processes, i.e. an internal institutional review process will be followed by final selection and approval by the Joint Task Team.


The funding is for a period of a year, and a project report is required to be submitted to the institutional representatives on 30 September 2018. 

Guidelines for this report are attached in Appendix B.

Download the call in full as well as the appendices here.