Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems
Edited by Dustin E. Garrick, George R.M. Anderson, Daniel Connell and Jamie Pittock
Chapter 12: Meeting the challenges of equity and sustainability in complex and uncertain worlds: the emergence of integrated water resources management in the eastern rivers of South Africa
South Africa is widely acclaimed for statutory water reforms following the first democratic elections in 1994. Flowing from the national constitution, the institutional reorientation ñ embraced largely in the National Water Act (1998) and the Water Services Act (1997) ñ aimed to address issues of racially-based inequities in access to water together with long-term sustainability which together constituted the cornerstone principles for change. Not only did the transformative policies highlight the socio-economic impacts of these historical disparities on the vast majority of the countryís people, but they also recognised that with 13 out of 19 basins either in ñ or approaching ñ water deficit, more holistic approaches to water security and long-term sustainability were needed. The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) was thus charged with finding a balance between the urgent need to address economic development while ensuring sustainability and inter-generational rights.
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