The CSIR is one step closer to the establishment of an integrated research infrastructure platform on its campus, having completed a feasibility study. The goal of this platform is to devise alternative solutions to municipal service delivery problems (energy, water and sanitation) that mitigate climate change and contribute to food, energy and water security using a systems approach.
The platform aims to design and develop an integrated system of technologies that turn sunshine and sewage into energy and valuable commodities and opportunities for local economic development and job creation through food and fuel production.
Providing municipal services such as electricity and waste water treatment is a major challenge for small towns that often lack the institutional capacity to manage and maintain the necessary infrastructure. High levels of poverty in these towns also present cost-recovery challenges. The platform is a CSIR interdisciplinary response to assist rural municipalities.
Research platforms in varying stages of development include municipal service delivery processes such as the provision of energy, clean water and the collection and treatment of waste water and solid waste; investigating and refining anaerobic digestion, aquaculture (including algal culture), concentrating solar power and membrane bioreactor-based waste water treatment.