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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/786

Title: How well has biophysical research served the needs of water resource management? Lessons from the Sabie-Sand catchment
Authors: Van Wyk, E
Van Wilgen, BW
Roux, DJ
Keywords: Sable-sand catchments
Water resource management
Water demand
Land management
Issue Date: Sep-2001
Publisher: Acad Science South Africa
Citation: Van Wyk, E, et al. 2001. How well has biophysical research served the needs of water resource management? Lessons from the Sabie-Sand catchment. South African Journal of Science, vol. 97, 10 September, pp 349-356
Abstract: Since the era of great water engineering works in South Africa, there has been a major shift in the thinking and approach to water resources management. Previous focus on water supply has been replaced by demand management initiatives and the recognition that aquatic ecosystems require protection in order to provide goods and services to people. These paradigm shifts are now reflected in the legislation that governs the management and protection of natural resources, as well as in the management frameworks proposed for integrated water resource management. The fundamental changes in the approach to water resource management warrant a critical evaluation of the information generated by past research and of the relevance of this activity and associated knowledge generation, given the new management needs. This paper reviews historical research initiatives in the Sabie-Sand catchment and investigates the extent to which they have generated the kind of information that is required by current management approaches. We show that all of the research initiatives provide useful information at different temporal and spatial scales, but that there are conspicuous gaps in the research framework. Management in the Sabie-Sand catchment will benefit from greater focus on integrative, interdisciplinary research and on the ecology of restoring degraded land and water resources. Research initiatives need to make better use of opportunities for capacity building and to advance understanding of the interface between biophysical and social research, given the requirement for research to be part of the country's social transformation processes. It is hoped that the kind of evaluation provided by this paper will be used elsewhere to identify knowledge gaps in the framework for water resource research and, in doing so, enable decision-makers to direct future research investment more effectively.
Description: Copyright: 2001 Acad Science South Africa
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/786
ISSN: 0038-2353
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
Water resources and human health
General science, engineering & technology

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