Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Water SA]]> vol. 34 num. 6 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Integrated water resource management (IWRM)</b>: <b>lessons from implementation in developing countries</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Synthesis</b>: <b>IWRM lessons for implementation</b>]]> This paper provides a synthesis of the main issues discussed at a conference (International Conference on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) entitled: Lessons from Implementation in Developing Countries which took place from 10 to 12 March 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre) which was coordinated to share experiences and lessons learned on the implementation of IWRM in developing countries. This paper discusses six themes that emerged from the conference. These themes provide a perspective on the current status of IWRM and assist in formulating the agenda for further research and implementation approaches based on lessons learned. Firstly, although there is considerable history and international acceptance of IWRM, there is still ongoing debate on how IWRM is defined. However, aside from these debates there is general agreement on the principles underlying IWRM and the potential it holds for managing complex systems that cannot be adequately achieved through the single-sector management approach of the past. To overcome past management paradigms, new capacity building approaches are required. Secondly, implementation of IWRM requires a balance between policy and institutional support and community level projects that have small-scale tangible results for the poor. Thirdly, IWRM involves integration across many spheres, specifically the integration of groundwater management into long-term water resource planning. Fourthly, although there is general endorsement of the importance of public engagement in supporting IWRM approaches, effective public engagement requires considerable strategic planning to ensure that efforts are both applicable and relevant to those involved. Fifthly, the conference highlighted the importance of developing appropriate economic methods and instruments to address the economic trade-offs and decisions that are apparent in water management. Finally, appropriate data, information systems and indicators are required to adequately monitor progress with IWRM implementation. <![CDATA[<b>Integrated water resource management in complex systems</b>: <b>how the catchment management strategies seek to achieve sustainability and equity in water resources in South Africa</b>]]> It is increasingly evident amongst practitioners and academics alike that the management approaches of the past have failed to deal adequately with the challenges posed by complex and rapidly changing systems. Indeed the call for integrated approaches such as those embodied in integrated water resource management (IWRM) reflects such concerns. This is because these systems are characterised by complexity in which an understanding of linkages, multiple drivers and unpredictable outcomes is critical. It is also widely recognised that the management of such systems requires an iterative, 'learning-by-doing' approach that is reflexive in nature and builds learning into the next management cycle. We suggest that any attempt to define and implement viable and effective governance of water resources, as well as rehabilitation measures, requires understanding that catchments are complex systems showing the aforementioned characteristics. As a corollary, an adaptive management approach appears best suited to such conditions. In this paper we argue that South Africa's highly-acclaimed National Water Act and associated policy documents such as the National Water Resource Strategy is an example of a policy document that reflects this thinking, as is evident in the guidelines for the development of catchment management strategies which are introduced and described. These offer a framework for the development of a holistic, systems understanding which is strategic and adaptive. In particular, under such a framework, we select the two cornerstones of the Act - sustainability and equity - to explore this theme. We show that under such a framework ensuring that both these principles are achieved is not through one simplistic management action but through an integrated, systems approach. The development of strategies is driven by principles which help one to navigate issues that emerge in complex systems in a flexible way. Visioning and scenarios offer important management tools for establishing a hierarchy of actions that can achieve the overarching principles and that can accommodating change. In complex systems, the users must be part of deriving management solutions since this is where and how they learn. Self-organisation, identity and embeddedness are all essential characteristics of building resilience in a catchment system. <![CDATA[<b>Building capacity for co-operative governance as a basis for integrated water resource managing in the Inkomati and Mvoti catchments, South Africa</b>]]> South Africa's National Water Act and National Water Resource Strategy set out an ambitious vision for Integrated Water Resources Management including a strong focus on the redistribution of water resources towards the poor and on empowering historically disadvantaged communities. To achieve this vision the Department of Water Affairs & Forestry (DWAF) has been pursuing a programme for devolving powers to 19 stakeholder-led catchment management agencies (CMAs) and more locally, transforming irrigation boards into more inclusive water user associations (WUAs), as well as creating new associations. Co-operative governance is a core principle of this programme. As well as being enshrined in South Africa's constitution, this principle is seen as key to enabling CMAs to implement their core functions, which include co-ordinating the activities of water users and water management institutions within their water management area. For WUAs also, the principle of co-operative governance is key to building engagement between White commercial farmers and emerging Black farmers, as well as (in some cases) engaging with a wider set of stakeholder interests including local government and environmental interests. Despite a commitment to the principle of co-operative governance, individual and institutional capacity for facilitating co-operative development processes is in relatively short supply within the South African water sector. This paper describes work-in-progress to build capacity in this area, working with: • DWAF's national Institutional Governance team • The Inkomati CMA (ICMA), the first of South Africa's new catchment management agencies • Two irrigation boards and a number of other stakeholders in the Mvoti catchment - with a view to the development of an appropriate institutional arrangement (WUA or otherwise) for the co-operative governance of this catchment. This paper focuses on the development of an interactive approach to capacity building in each of these three sites, drawing from a broad portfolio of approaches variously described as social learning, social appraisal, or whole system development. In the Inkomati we have worked primarily with the whole system approach known as Future Search, whereas in the Mvoti we have used the U-process and social appraisal as guiding metaphors and design principles. This paper describes some of our achievements, challenges and reflections to date, and argues that the interactive approaches we have been taking are better suited to the implementation of DWAF's institutional reform processes than the more established, top-down approaches, which involve issuing guidance, supported by training programmes. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for scaling up these types of approaches across the South African water system as a whole, and for the practice of integrated water resource management. <![CDATA[<b>IWRM and the environment</b>: <b>a view on their interaction and examples where IWRM led to better environmental management in developing countries</b>]]> This paper investigates the interaction between water resources management and the environment. It argues that an integrated, holistic approach to water management is beneficial for the environment but also that environmental concerns are not to be ignored for integrated water management to be effective. To this purpose the paper introduces the interactions between different water uses and why it is important to address these interactions for sustainable water resources management. It explains how the environment is being effected by the use of water by other sectors, and the benefits and implications of an integrated management system for the environment. Illustrated by several practical cases in Asia, Southern Africa and small island developing states, the paper makes a strong case for IWRM to be an effective approach for sustainable management at river basin level. It also demonstrates that stakeholder engagement form the start. and the process being driven by local interests and addressing real needs are elements of IWRM without which it will not work. The paper argues that addressing environmental is essential for sustainable use of water resources, and that strong political support and institutional backing is required for IWRM to be successful. <![CDATA[<b>Groundwater management issues in Southern Africa</b>: <b>an IWRM perspective</b>]]> In contrast to its strategic role as essential resource to help achieve community development and poverty alleviation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), groundwater has remained a poorly understood and managed resource. This was the finding of a scoping study regarding the status of groundwater resources management in SADC. The key premise for the assessment was that groundwater resource management must take place within an IWRM framework and the IWRM Toolbox developed by the Global Water Partnership was used as the scope and content for the assessment. The SADC region has well- developed policies for regional development and IWRM, as well as a relatively strong focus on groundwater resources. This article questions whether problems relating to Africa's sustainable utilisation and management of groundwater is a unique groundwater problem or must also be related to the challenges experienced in general with the implementation of an IWRM approach in Africa. A key finding was that groundwater management links to groundwater-dependent sectors like agriculture, rural development, health and environment are not well- established in policy or in practice. Internationally, there is a recognition, that such a, quite common, situation can only be addressed through a long-term process through which viable national, regional and local systems can evolve, within a strategic framework in which these intended relationships between diverse sets of interventions or management approaches and the development goals are brought out. However, such a strategic, multi-stakeholder-driven approach also still remains the major challenge in Africa for IWRM implementation as a whole. Recent continent-wide initiatives, like the development of IWRM and water efficiency plans for each country and multi-stakeholder water dialogue processes, have been taken to address this challenge. It is therefore crucial that groundwater becomes an integral part of these and related initiatives. New AMCOW and SADC initiatives for groundwater provide a major opportunity to achieve this. <![CDATA[<b>Updating public participation in IWRM</b>: <b>a proposal for a focused and structured engagement with Catchment Management Strategies</b>]]> Despite the strong emphasis on public participation in the National Water Act (NWA), South Africa has yet to implement a comprehensive and functional approach to public engagement at the level of Water Management Areas. Part of the problem is that actual requirements are not explicitly articulated anywhere. This has led to the situation where public participatory processes are poorly conceptualised, misdirected and often perceived as confusing by stakeholders. 'Participation fatigue' is the consequence of this accompanied by a growing frustration with the implementation of the content of the Act. The intention for decentralised democratic water resources management is consequently seriously jeopardised if the public participation processes are not clearly presented in the public domain. In this paper we draw on a number of sources, namely a national pilot integrated catchment management programme called the Save the Sand Project initiated in the north-eastern part of SA, a Water Research Commission project on public participation and a DWAF project that funded the exploration of public participation in the Sand River Catchment. The latter (2005 -2007) supported a better understanding of public participation processes and dynamics in a high-density rural catchment, the findings from which are reported here. Additionally this paper is referenced against the current discourse on public participation in water resources aimed at elucidating public participation in integrated water resource management (IWRM) in South Africa. The focus of the work reported in this paper is specifically on the development and implementation of catchment management strategies as the locus of decentralised, democratised, participatory water resource management. In this paper we start out by discussing how complexities surrounding public engagement might present newly established catchment management agencies (CMAs) with serious challenges and then move on to a proposed framework for focusing public engagement on specific IWRM tasks. The framework outlines tasks where multi-stakeholder platforms collaboratively design strategic water management actions that are assembled as the catchment management strategy (CMS), a statutory obligation for CMAs <![CDATA[<b>Households' preferences and willingness to pay for multiple use water services in rural areas of South Africa</b>: <b>an analysis based on choice modelling</b>]]> Financing of multiple use (i.e. domestic and productive) water services was identified as an important ingredient to ensure improved water access for rural poor and broaden livelihood options in South Africa. Following the principles of integrated water resource management (IWRM), efficient, equitable and sustainable investments in improved water services should be based on a thorough understanding of actual demand by consumers. Comprehensive studies looking at multiple use water services are not common in South African rural areas, where most of the economic analyses focus on either domestic or irrigation water demand. This study aims at filling this gap by assessing the household demand for multiple use water services in Sekororo-Letsoalo area in the Limpopo Province. Choice modelling is the approach used to identify the attributes determining demand for water services and quantify their relative importance. Results show that households in rural areas are willing to pay for improvements in water services. Due to the current poor level of water services in the area, users are primarily concerned with basic domestic uses and, consequently, demand for productive uses is low. Only households already relatively well served are interested in engaging in multiple water uses. <![CDATA[<b>Hydroinformatic system (implementation in Thailand)</b>]]> The first hydroinformatic system in Thailand originated from the National Water Resource Strategy of 2007. In order to manage different hydrological data format in text file, html file, access file and spreadsheet file from different institutes, an interactive data assimilation system was introduced. Acquisitive data from 1 150 major hydrological stations were inspected, verified, reformatted and statistically analysed. This research performs processes of two successful versions of the Thailand Hydroinformatic System. Virtual mechanism can, however, increase public participation to attain and utilise both information and metadata under open source licence. At the time of publication, the effective utilisation of the international standard format (ISO19115) is implemented through the public domain system. This hydroinformatic system enlarges potentiality of national communities to truly realise the potential of their natural water resources and tangibly understand their water environment. This system is regarded as a nationally sustainable prototype system to improve water resource management capability. <![CDATA[<b>Integrated monitoring of water allocation reform in South Africa</b>]]> South Africa faces significant inequities in the allocation of water for productive purposes. Water allocation is one component of a wider government mandate to address the inequities of the past. Water allocation reform is being implemented by the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), through the Water Allocation Reform (WAR) Programme. This paper presents an approach for determining indicators that can be used to monitor targets for WAR and for prioritising areas for specific WAR interventions. The approach integrates water use data with environmental, economic and equity data to provide a holistic picture of the progress and benefits of WAR. Limitations of the approach are discussed, specifically related to the data on which the indicators are based. The development of data for the equity indicator presents specific challenges which are discussed through examples from its application in four case study areas.