Gauteng and NW Province

Freshwater; Integrated Catchment Management

WWF South Africa

South Africa is experiencing severe water stress, with demand exceeding supply, and the situation is expected to worsen due to climate change, population growth and changes in consumption patterns.

It has been estimated that more than 98% of the available water resources in South Africa have already been allocated to different users. The most recent water quantity studies have shown that South Africa’s water resources are much less than previously thought. The worsening water crisis in South Africa is going to have dire consequences on the environment, the economy, and the livelihood of South Africans. With dwindling water resources the future of large scale water users such as agriculture and mining, which form the backbone of South Africa’s economy, will be in jeopardy.

There is an urgent need to implement pragmatic approaches to water resources management that will optimally harness South Africa’s limited water resources. The implementation of  integrated catchment management (ICM) strategies that take full cognisance of the environmental, social and economic dimension to water resource management is therefore critical in South Africa. ICM approaches seek to develop pragmatic solutions to water resource management that will optimally protect the scarce water resources and lead to economic growth and development.

To implement the principles of integrated catchment management requires effective partnerships between local communities, government, and the private sector. There is a need to capacitate the key role players to have the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake natural resource management. Effective institutional arrangements will also need to put in place to foster stewardship in water resource management.

The ICM Programme undertakes freshwater conservation in all three key strategic areas of:-
Water Security
Water Conservation
Water stewardship

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