Project Mati: Water Information System

Project Information

  • Stakeholder: Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Students: Nolihle Gulwa (WSU), Wandisa Mfenguza (UFH), Ndamulelo Nemakhavhani (UCT), Nombuso Zondo (UKZN)
  • Project Lead: Dr. Vukosi Marivate
  • Project Mentors: Ofentswe Lebogo, Nhlamulo Chauke
  • Year: 2016/2017

Project Description

Project-Mati was developed to help the DWS with their National Integrated Water Information system (NWIS), which was importing data from various sources in different formats (pdf, ppt, Ms word). As a result, water related data is fragmented, disintegrated and not easily accessible, making it time consuming and costly for water managers and decision makers to utilise the data. A developed information system for drought status in South Africa was thus needed.

During the first phase, the Project Mati team developed a web application that visualised the drought related data to help DWS improve the management of data used to distribute water related information. The Mati team extracted the data that was provided by DWS and converted it from the formats they came across, converted from (pdf, Ms.word etc.) into Comma-separated values (CSV) files. The team then analysed the data using Jupyter notebooks and the analysis was visualised using the Django Web Development Framewor. Project Mati further focused on visualising supply versus demand on the drought status in South Africa (Supply being the sources of water and demand being the amount of water being used such as per province, per sector). The aim was to visualise the available data based on the analysis. The team then did storyboarding, where they grouped what they wanted to visualise onto four story boards which will visualise some analysis on dam levels over time, population affected by drought, rainfall and water consumptions per sector.

Student Remarks


The project was engaging and beneficial, but we feel we could have done more if we got more data and clarifications from the client. We were not familiar with the use of Jupyter notebooks, Django web development framework, Javascript and HTML. We have learnt a lot from this project including working as team.

Author: Team + Nolihle Gulwa, B Tech Journalism, Walter Sisulu University.