A game theoretic perspective for enhanced stakeholder participation in integrated water resource management: a Kat River Valley case study

Mbatha, Cyril (2005) A game theoretic perspective for enhanced stakeholder participation in integrated water resource management: a Kat River Valley case study. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




South Africa is a water poor region and yet, like in many other developing countries, water resources are a valuable production input in socially important industries such as agriculture and mining (Nieuwoudt et al., 2004:162-182). With a mean annual rainfall and runoff of 502mm and 42mm (420m³ per hectare per annum) respectively, Briers and Powell (1993:1) speculate that water shortages will limit South Africa’s economic development in the twenty-first century. In response to the challenges of water resource scarcity and socio-economic inequalities, in 1997 the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), following international trends, formulated a National Water Policy (NWP) based on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) principles (Palmer et al., 2003). The main objectives of the NWP (1997) are to protect national water resources from degradation, provide economically disadvantaged communities with access to water resources and promote economic development, through the devolution of water management responsibilities to locally established water institutions (NWP, 1997). The pursuit of these objectives requires a thorough investigation of biophysical, sociopolitical and economic characteristics of the demarcated water areas. For such an investigation to provide accurate and locally relevant results, broad stakeholder participation is of paramount importance. The thesis discusses economic measures required in pursuing enhanced stakeholder participation levels at local levels. A socio-economic survey investigation describing major participation trends against reported property rights and Willingness to Pay values was conducted in the Kat River Valley, Eastern Cape province. From the investigation, observed participation trends driven by economic interests were identified and used in recommendations proposed for the policy implementation process. Using game theoretic arguments as guidelines in soliciting cooperative behaviour in the use and consumption of common resources (Ostrom, 1990), the thesis proposes the introduction of water related public works projects as employment creating vehicles for individuals and communities targeted for economic empowerment and participation in the water policy. However, for sustainable stakeholder participation levels, it is argued that the employment positions created through the projects need to be designed in a manner that would encourage an evolution of long-term relationships between stakeholders and the water management institutions.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Water resources development, Water-supply, South Africa, Kat River Valley, Economic development, Game theory
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Commerce > Economics and Economic History
ID Code:2748
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:02 May 2012 09:16
Last Modified:02 May 2012 09:16
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