The inclusion and implementation of integrated water resources management under South African water law and policy.
South Africa is a dry, water-stressed country which faces many water management challenges. Some of these challenges are unique to South African freshwater resources management while others are conventional water management problems. In light of these water management problems it is important that South Africa manages its scarce water resources effectively and efficiently. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is regarded internationally as the best way to manage freshwater resources as it provides for the holistic management of land and water while taking into account various other factors such as sustainable development. Although there have been some difficulties in finding international consensus on the precise meaning of IWRM there are a number of defining aspects which are common place in the development of this concept. From an analysis of environmental law and policy relating to freshwater resources it is clear that South Africa has included many of these aspects of IWRM into its own freshwater resources management. In fact there are few short comings in the provision for IWRM under South African law and policy. South Africa’s problems, however, lie in the implementation of its provision for IWRM. By looking at various reports, statistics, strategies, commentaries and other documents relating to the status of freshwater resources it becomes clear that although progress has been made in realising implementation of South Africa’s water law since 1994 there are still many core areas of freshwater management which are far from being implemented. If South Africa is to achieve true IWRM it will need to address its implementation short comings.
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