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Water in the Western Cape Economy
Expanded Title:There is increasing consensus in the international water, scientific and development communities that water scarcity will increase dramatically in many parts of the world in the next 20 to 30 years. This will have significant social, political and economic consequences. Awareness of climate change over the past decade has focused broad attention on water as a key resource under threat. This increasing water scarcity will have effects on agriculture, energy, trade, the environment, national sovereignty and international relations as nations who are water scarce continue to deplete their resources while looking to water rich areas to ensure their long term growth and sustainability. This project investigates possible ways of assessing regional water resources in the Western Cape system (Berg and Breede-Overberg WMAs) from a political-economic and developmental perspective. This can be used to inform water management strategy processes (both the National Water Resources Strategy and Catchment Management Strategies) as well as provide the types of information that allow effective engagement with provincial and local government planning processes. A few considerations must be recognised: • Increasingly stressed water resources and the uncertainty of climate and development futures have highlighted the close interactions between water, energy and food security at a national level. • There is significant global and national uncertainty about future pathways in the energy-carbon and food-fibre sectors to meet the population and economic growth projections over the next 20 to 40 years, which is compounded by changing climate conditions. • All of these have profound impacts on water, and this will require alignment between South Africa’s position on water security and positions on energy security and food security, given the water constraints in South Africa. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH This water in the economy concept needs to be presented to a number of the platforms and processes further to gauge the usefulness of the concept. In addition, it is suggested that the process be repeated with improved data sources to better the understanding of how water flows through the economy. Data throughout this project has been a challenge. Recommendations going forward would be to use only standardised databases from government or alike in order to interrogate the nature of the economy in different regions. The use of standardised provincial or national data is necessary to ensure that analyses of regions within the Western Cape are comparable. An in-depth analysis of local level water in the economy implications is required. This is because initial presentations of this work have found the engagement with the private sector less compelling due to the scale of water and economy investigated (district level municipality or water management area). Therefore, a local level investigation into the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality economy and water scenarios will be carried out in order to better grasp the private sector role in water in the economy. It is assumed that at a local level, the public and private sector responses to understanding the role of water in the economy may be more tangible.
Date Published:01/03/2014
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Water Governance
Document Keywords:Climate, Economy, Policy and regulation, Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2075/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0517-2
Authors:Pegram G; Baleta H
Project No:K5/2075
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Pegasus
Document Size:3 868 KB
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