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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/820

Title: Exploring the government society and science interfaces in integrated water resource management in South Africa
Authors: Ashton, PJ
Turton, AR
Roux, DJ
Keywords: Integrated water resource management
Trialogue model
Issue Date: Dec-2006
Citation: Ashton, PJ, Turton, AR and Roux DJ. 2006. Exploring the government society and science interfaces in integrated water resource management in South Africa. Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, Vol. 135, pp 28-35
Abstract: Most modern approaches to water resource management acknowledge that the entire river basin or catchment should form the basic management unit if water resources are to be managed effectively and efficiently. In addition, since surface and ground water are inextricably linked via the hydrological cycle, it is also logical for water resource managers to seek to manage all forms of water as a single resource within the management unit. These two technical principles form the foundation for integrated water resource management (IWRM), and it is widely accepted that if they are implemented effectively, the outcome should be prudent water resource management within the river basin. Another important component of the IWRM philosophy is the need to engage all stakeholders in decision-making processes (Global Water Partnership 2000). Indeed, while effective and efficient water management institutions are usually regarded as “technocratic,” they rely on good governance processes to ensure that all government and civil society stakeholders are engaged effectively. In its ideal form, therefore, the IWRM approach to catchment or river basin management comprises a guiding philosophy, a practical and agreed framework for action, and a set of desired outcomes. These three characteristics are inclusive rather than exclusive, thereby reinforcing and extending the suite of advantages to be gained from the practical implementation of IWRM. Importantly, very few of the stakeholders or roleplayers that are engaged in technical, social or economic activities within a river basin acknowledge that IWRM decision-making is a political process. In addition, much of the IWRM decision-making tends to ignore the social, cultural and political context, as well as the historical aspects within which these are embedded. Taken together, these processes and contexts shape the dimensions of governance and determine the success or failure of IWRM initiatives. This paper reviews the evidence that new and more supportive government, society, and science interfaces and processes are helping to ensure the effective allocation and management of water resources in South Africa.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/820
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
Water resources and human health
General science, engineering & technology

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