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Water Resources Planning and Management in the Olifants Basin of South Africa: Past, Present and Future

Author: M. de Lange, D. J. Merrey, H. Levite, and M. Svendsen
Organisation: IWMI
Publish Date: February 2003
Country: South Africa
Sector: Environment
Method: Scenarios
Theme: Water
Type: Book
Language: English
Tags: Water, Sustainability, Development, Climate Change,

South Africa is seeking to revolutionize the way it manages its water resources. Water is especially scarce in South Africa. Further, there is a long history of providing large quantities of water to a favored minority while most of the population had little or no access even to basic water supplies. This paper discusses the changes being implemented with special reference to the Olifants River Basin, home to nearly 10% of the total population of South Africa. The paper characterizes the water resource and the heavy demands on it for agriculture, mining, domestic use, and environment. It then characterizes the wide range of stakeholders and their interests, and the changing legal, social, and institutional context. The inequality of stakeholders in terms of being able to express their views systematically is a key issue that emerges. The paper reports on an analysis of stakeholder interests and roles in the past, and likely interests and roles in the near future. It concludes by discussing a set of key challenges facing the future developing of the Olifants Basin, and by extension, South Africa.


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