Water Resource Management and the Law
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Water Resource Management and the Law

Edited by Erkki J. Hollo

Scarcity of water, floods and erosion caused by climate change have made the management of water resources a challenge to national and international actors worldwide. States have also initiated water projects to improve social welfare, often with significant impacts on the environment. This book combines close analysis of the legal structures of water rights with consideration of the modes of water management projects to illustrate current water-related problems in terms of practical solutions in a global context.
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Chapter 2: A comparison of constitutional provisions on water-related rights in Southern African states

Ed Couzens and Meda Couzens


One of the world’s most water-stressed regions is Southern Africa, where the problems of relative water scarcity are compounded by extreme levels of poverty and underdevelopment. In such a situation, states in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region would be expected at least to have water-related rights in their constitutions and even to provide constitutional imperatives to conserve water. Strangely, however, some do not contain any water-related provisions at all. Amongst those that do, a variety of approaches are taken to the common problem that is water scarcity. This chapter initiates the exploration of this vast topic by canvassing the position in each of the SADC member states (and Kenya) and then considers the different types of right each state has chosen to provide. The conclusion stresses the differences between the varied approaches taken by SADC member states, and the implications of these, and contains suggestions for further research. Keywords: Chapter 2 (Couzens and Couzens): Constitutional provisions, human rights, access to water, fundamental water-right, South African states, ecocentrism

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