Abstract for: Addressing stakeholder conflicts in rural South Africa using a water supply model

A system dynamics modelling approach is adopted to deepen understanding of the effects of operational management on the performance of the Greater Kirkwood water supply system in South Africa. Currently, the interrupted operation of the system has led to perceptions of systemic social injustice on the part of citizens and contention between the municipality responsible for supplying water to the citizens and the Water User Association responsible for delivering untreated water to the municipality. The model is used as a means of exploring the technical constraints of the water supply system, and of supporting discussions between stakeholders about contentious issues, and the ways they can address these issues. Research on the utility of the model as a means of supporting strategic conversations between stakeholders (cf. Howick & Eden, 2010) is ongoing.