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National Water Resource Strategy: Water for an equitable and sustainable future (July 2013)

9th July 2013


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  • National Water Resource Strategy: Water for an equitable and sustainable future
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South Africa is not well endowed with abundant fresh water resources.  In fact, it is regarded as the 30th most water scarce country in the world.  Despite this major challenge, we have thus far done great in harnessing this resource in support of a strong economy and a vibrant society.  This was and still is achieved through effective water resources planning, infrastructure development and effective service delivery.

It must however be stated that the country is facing various challenges with regard to its water resources and the management thereof.  Various concerns have been raised recently regarding pollution and resource quality, water security for both social and economic development as well as services quality.  These concerns must be addressed as they have major social, economic environmental, legal and political impact on our lives and businesses.


In assessing the situation, dealing with the present as well as moving into the future, it should be clear that South Africa will need to adopt an advanced and smart water management approach.  The traditional approach of mainly focussing on new water resource development must be extended to also address and prioritise sustainable management including asset management and effective operations, effective use and demand management, local resource optimization including ground water utilization, water systems management and control, re-use, desalination and utilization of sea water, new technology and very importantly, the protection of our precious water resources.

Report by the Department of Water Affairs



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