Water resources management

One of the greatest challenges for our collective future is linked to sufficient and sustainable water resources. The water cycle and the life cycle are inextricably linked. Water is life. There is no substitute for water.

Dr Verno Jonker
Expertise leader: Water resources management
Verno Jonker

Sustainable water resources management is critical to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adapting to climate change, and improving the lives of millions of people in Africa and beyond. However, increased water demand across all sectors, combined with growing uncertainty and variability in water resources, present significant challenges. Balancing the pressures of development with long-term social, economic and environmental prosperity requires integrated thinking and specialised technical skills.

Regeneration, not just sustainability, is the new goal for water resources management and planning. Addressing water security concerns is also increasingly becoming a business imperative.

Zutari brings new energy and new perspectives for sustainable and resilient water futures: a solid analytical, engineering approach infused with climate and social sciences, collaborative partnerships, the consolidation of knowledge, the integration of ecosystem services, spatial analyses and remote sensing, information and communication technologies, water sensitive design as well as climate change impact and adaptation studies – embedded in a design thinking approach to understanding problems and co-creating solutions.

Our water resources specialists offer the complete range of advisory, strategy, planning, analysis, engineering, design and scientific services, complemented by our offering in related disciplines of water sensitive design, flooding and drainage, bulk water storage and conveyance, hydropower and water treatment.

Our expertise and industry knowledge have been built on projects in many geographies over several decades and our engineers and scientists work with clients ranging from national and local water authorities to multinational institutions, private sector entities and communities. Our multidisciplinary teams integrate a wide range of engineering, scientific, social, economic and ecological disciplines:

  • From concept to implementation and through to operation, our water resources planning and management team are leaders when it comes to planning, developing, operating and managing water resource schemes and we deliver tailored and sustainable solutions. Climate adaptation and resilience, catchment management and the integration of ecosystem services are at the core of our approach to water resources management.
  • Our water sciences team uses conceptual and mathematical representations and analyses of complex hydrological, physically-based processes to provide innovative solutions towards the sustainable management of land, water and related ecological resources
  • Our flood risk, waterways and bulk stormwater team maintains a focus on effective and sustainable solutions while delivering exceptional project management, planning, analysis, design, documentation and construction supervision services to our clients.
  • Our water sensitive urban design team explores various design approaches and practices towards improving urban amenity, minimising environmental degradation, improving aesthetic and recreational appeal and mitigating urban impacts through integrating the urban water cycle into urban design – stormwater, groundwater, wastewater management and water supply.

Because water is not a typical economic good and water security presents many challenges requiring a broader range of specialist skills, we offer:

  • More than 80 years’ experience in water resources management across Africa and globally.
  • A design thinking philosophy, where we work with clients to co-create innovative solutions that realise the true value of water.
  • Life cycle management and design engineering from planning and feasibility level consultancy services to project implementation, to post-construction scheme management, to training and facilitating community participation
  • A sprit of innovation and diversity as thought leaders for improved water security in Africa.
  • A commitment to training and capacity building, and collaboration with researchers to co-discover new solutions and approaches.

To unlock the sustainable benefits of water resources, we support and transfer our skills to water authorities, governments, local councils, and other organisations

Our water specialists offer the complete range of engineering and scientific services to optimise the sustainable management of water resources.

Water resources planning and management

  • Integrated water resources strategy, management, and planning
  • Drought response planning and mitigation
  • Water resources infrastructure feasibility studies and investment strategies
  • Basin and catchment management strategies and plans
  • Climate change assessment and adaptation studies
  • Groundwater and aquifer modelling and management
  • Water security
  • Policy and institutional support
  • Socio-economic assessment
  • Irrigation feasibility studies and design

Water sciences

  • Hydrometeorological monitoring
  • Catchment hydrology
  • Water quality modelling, assessment, and management
  • Information management and decision support systems
  • Water resources system analysis
  • Flood hydrology
  • 1D/2D Hydrodynamic modelling
  • Dam-break analysis
  • Reservoir hydrodynamic / water quality modelling
  • CFD modelling / physical modelling
  • Environmental water science
  • Environmental flow requirements

Water sensitive urban design

  • Design of water sensitive urban environments
  • Sustainable urban drainage system design
  • Bulk stormwater master planning and design
  • Transition to more water sensitive cities
  • Water reuse, recycling, and conservation management

River engineering and Flood risk management

  • Hydraulic analysis and design
  • Natural waterway management and rehabilitation
  • Design of engineered waterways
  • Fluvial geomorphology and sedimentation studies
  • Ecological infrastructure interventions
  • Flood risk management and hazard assessment
  • Wetland rehabilitation

Water for industry, mining and manufacturing

  • Management of mine and industrial water
  • Water risk and source vulnerability assessments
  • Improved water use efficiency and resource recovery

Stakeholder engagement, training and capacity building

  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Water games and interactive stakeholder engagements
  • Training and capacity building
  • Co-exploration and co-discovery
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