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Proposed reserve determination for water resources in the Vaal catchment

21 December 2018

On 21 December 2018, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) published the proposed reserve determination for water resources in the Vaal catchment in terms of section 16(3) of the National Water Act, 1998 (NWA).

Section 1 of the NWA provides that “Reserve” means the quantity and quality of water required –
(a) to satisfy basic human needs by securing a basic water supply, as prescribed under the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997), for people who are now or who will, in the reasonably near future, be –
(i) relying upon;
(ii) taking water from; or
(iii) being supplied from, the relevant water resource; and
(b) to protect aquatic ecosystems in order to secure ecologically sustainable development and use of the relevant water resource”

In terms of section 18 of the NWA, the Minister, the Director-General, an organ of state and a water management institution, must give effect to the Reserve as determined in terms of this Part when exercising any power or preforming any duty in terms of this Act.

Section 24 of 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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