Integrating environmental flows into a stakeholder driven catchment management process

Rowntree, Kate and Birkholz, S. A. and Burt, J.C. and Fox, H.E. (2009) Integrating environmental flows into a stakeholder driven catchment management process. In: International Conference on Implementing Environmental Water Allocations, 23-26 February, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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Abstract

South Africa's National Water Act (NWA no 36 of 1998) recognizes the need for environmental protection through the ecological Reserve, defined in the Act as the quantity and quality of water required to protect aquatic ecosystems in order to secure ecologically sustainable development through the constrained use of the relevant water resource. Further more the NWA stipulates that the allocation of licenses to new water users, or the granting of increased water use to established water users, can only take place once the the Reserve for the river has been determined and approved by the Minister. This means that water users' needs (beyond those required for basic human needs) take second place behind the environment. Whether or not the inclusion of the ecological Reserve in South Africa's water legislation leads to sustainable use of South Africa's water resources depends on its successful implementation. This in turn depends on the will of both the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), the implementing agent, and the end water users who need to be convinced of the priority given to environmental needs. In this paper we look at the process of implementing the ecological Reserve in the Kat Valley in the Eastern Cape of South Africa as part of a stakeholder driven process of developing a water allocation plan for the catchment that prioritized participation by water users. The extent to which DWAF and the water users expedited or thwarted the process is examined in the light of national and international calls for local-level participation in water resource management processes.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:Published on CD by Document Transformation Technologies Organized by WATER RESEARCH COMMISSION (WRC) and DEPARTMENT OF WATER AFFAIRS & FORESTRY (DWAF), South Africa Under the auspices of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
Uncontrolled Keywords:participatory water governance, stakeholders, ecological Reserve, South Africa, National Water Act
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
ID Code:3107
Deposited By: Prof Kate Rowntree
Deposited On:26 Jul 2012 10:03
Last Modified:31 Jul 2012 06:04
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