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Report by the Water Research Commission on Strategic Water Source Areas of South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland (2018)

8 March 2019

On 8 March 2019, the Water Research Commission launched its product on Strategic Water Source Areas entitled Identification, Delineation and Importance of the Strategic Water Source Areas of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland for Surface Water and Groundwater. That document should be read alongside the document entitled Management Framework and Implementation Guidelines for Planners and Managers.

The stated objectives and aims of this report are the following:

This report summarises the findings of a 3-year Water Research Commission project (July 2015-December 2017) led by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Delta-h Water Systems Modelling. Specifically, the project aimed to:

  1. Review and refine the understanding of the hydrological processes that lead to the generation of
    runoff and groundwater recharge in South Africa’s water source areas, and especially in groundwater systems.
  2. Develop an integrated method to identify and delineate water source areas that include run-off
    generation and groundwater recharge (i.e. surface water and groundwater).
  3. Link the water source areas and their associated water resources to key benefit flows.
  4. Identify key pressures and recommend management and protection options water source areas.
  5. Explore policy mechanisms for the uptake of the products.

The primary outputs from this project are this Integrated Report, a Management Framework and
Implementation Guidelines for Planners and Managers report which provides information on policy,
legislation and other measures relating to their protection and management, and a Knowledge
Dissemination report which provides a summary of the importance of the SWSAs, the key findings and
recommendations for general audience.

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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