Chronological review of South African guidelines for residential average annual water demand with property size as independent variable

  • Heinz Jacobs Senior lektor, Departement Siviele Ingenieurswese, Universiteit van Stellenbosch


Guidelines for residential average annual water demand (AADD) based on property size were introduced to the South African Civil Engineering fraternity in about 1960, with the most recent publication of such guidelines in 2008. The AADD forms the basis of calculations performed during the design and analysis of water systems. Over the years technology has improved, scientific progress was made and demand has changed, resulting in improved and updated guidelines for AADD. Changes in the guidelines over the years could be considered to be a result of improvement– larger and more accurate data sets are nowadays analysed statistically by improved computer technology. Also, the changes are considered to be the result of scientific advances in the fields of metering, modelling and analysis of water demand. Finally, actual changes in demand occur with time. This research provides the first documented review of the chronological development of AADD guidelines in South Africa. It is noted that only two guidelines were used for relatively long periods of time. In both cases the guidelines would not compare favourably to others from a pure research perspective, but their successful application is the result of a co-ordinated educational and marketing effort. The value of a sustained guideline structure (AADD versus stand size in this case) is also underlined.

Original Research