Table of Contents

Handbook on Water Security

Handbook on Water Security

Edited by Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Anik Bhaduri and Joyeeta Gupta

Water security has received increasing attention in the scientific and policy community in recent years. This Handbook covers the wide range of perspectives required to understand water security as a concept guiding water governance and management at different levels and in different regions. It reflects on past, present and future challenges to water security and strategies on how to overcome them. An invaluable resource for scientific scholars, it will also appeal policymakers and practitioners interested in a deeper understanding of this important concept.

Chapter 17: Water security in Southern Africa: discourses securitising water and the implications for water governance and politics

Richard Meissner

Subjects: environment, environmental management, water, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


In the South African water discourse, the water security concept is a complex notion that not only covers the quantitative aspects of water demand and supply but is also linked to national security and political stability, as well as human well-being and ecosystem security. This chapter highlights how various stakeholders have used the concept and linked it to other issues over the past decade and more. The chapter shows how different interest groups have played a significant role in the water governance of Southern Africa at different levels. Depending on the type and objective of such interest groups, the water security concept has been either linked to human well-being or to policies and practices that could have an impact on aquatic ecosystems; and thus it has influenced the discourse and conceptualisation of water security in a varied way in the same region.

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