This National Water Resources Management Strategy (NWRMS) sets out the strategy to plan, develop, manage, protect and control the use of South Africa's water resources effectively for the future. This shall be achieved through an improved institutional framework, strengthening our sector capacity, and through various mechanisms and concepts, such as water re-use and water off-setting. The Strategy sets aims at following core objectives: water supports development and the elimination of poverty and inequality; water contributes to the economy and job creation, and; water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled sustainably and equitably. Its major focus is equitable and sustainable access and use of water by all South Africans while sustaining our water resource (seeking to resolve supply-demand issues, water loss and water stress). Equity and redistribution will be achieved through the authorisation process and other mechanisms and programmes, such as water allocation reform, financial support to emerging farmers and support to urban and rural local economic development initiatives. The NWRS2 builds on the first NWRS published in 2004. It responds to priorities set by Government within the National Development Plan (NDP) and the National Water Act imperatives that support sustainable development.The NWRS2 is developed within a changing environment and acknowledges that monitoring and collecting relevant data will not only affect the accurate assessments of the status of water resources and the magnitude of water problems, but will vastly improve planning and policy formulation processes. The monitoring should not be done only for the sake of our national concerns, but also in response to our obligation within international river basins (which counts for approximately 60% of the streamflow in rivers in South Africa).The Policy is dived into 16 Chapters: Introduction (1); National strategic imperatives (2); Vision, goal, principles and objectives (3); Water resources planning, infrastructure development and management (4); Water resource protection (5); Equitable water allocation (6); Water conservation and water demand management (WCWDM) (7); Institutional arrangements (8); Regulation of the water sector (9); Managing water resources for climate change (10); International cooperation and trans-boundary watercourse management (11); Financial Management (12); Monitoring and information management (13); Research and innovation (14); Water sector skills and capacity (15); Emerging policy issues and implementation of the strategy (16). It is completed by four Annexures: Perspectives per Water Management Area (A); Understanding Water Resources (B); National Desalination Strategy (C) National Strategy for Water Re-use (D), and lists of Tables and Figures.A repository of water resource intelligence will facilitate better interpretation and response to the challenges associated with changing hydrological patterns, climate change, groundwater reserves and innovative responses for reference to the country and neighbouring states with whom we share river basins. The NWRS2 also strongly promotes technology and innovation to contribute to effective and efficient water management solutions that respond to the needs for water security and sustainability for individuals, communities, productive and strategic water use as well as ecosystem services.The research and innovation conducted by the Water Research Commission (WRC) and other research bodies in areas such as wastewater treatment, water quality and water ecosystems, skills and capacity within the sector, climate change and water conservation and water demand management approaches have influenced the themes and interventions contained in this Strategy. The regulation of the sector is to ensure that standards are set and maintained and that there is compliance with the regulatory provisions is a key focus of the Strategy. The achievement of all the country and sector goals must be sustained within an environment that protects the integrity of the National Water Act and all other legislation that has an impact on water resource management.Emerging policy issues and implementation of the strategy deals with, among other things, revision of water legislation, water off-setting, reallocation of water rights (equity), appeal process, including the Water Tribunal, review of the roles and responsibilities of water institutions, including regional water utilities and water user associations, and good water governance and priority focus areas for next five years. Some attention is given in Chapter 5 to water pollution, the rehabilitation of strategic water ecosystems, and protection of riparian and wetland buffers and critical groundwater recharge areas.
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