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Towards the development of IWRM implementation indicators in South Africa
Expanded Title:The aims of the project were to: • Conduct a comprehensive literature review of both international literature and selected national legislation and policy in terms of how IWRM has been conceived and applied • Develop indicators for assessing how IWRM will impact on the lives of women and the poor and apply these indicators to South African case studies • Build research capacity locally and internationally on approaches to implement and monitor IWRM. The project was conducted in two phases; the first phase focused on the compilation of a literature review in terms of IWRM in a broader context, and the second phase focused on developing criteria for proposed indicators used in assessing the impacts of IWRM and testing these against a case study. PHASE 1 Literature Review The first point of departure was to define IWRM in terms of its conceptual basis and as a ‘tool’. The next step was to conduct a legal review of how the National Water Act and other relevant legislation and policy support the IWRM principles. IWRM embodies a broad plethora of requirements, topics, actions, impacts and ideals. In the South African context, the key topics, such as water allocation, groundwater potential, gender aspects and land reform, are summarised. The literature review also contextualised Mitchell’s (2006) Canadian IWRM experience, the findings of which could be ideal for the South African situation, and explored the Shah and Van Koppen (2006) review of India for lessons when setting expectations of IWRM in the South Africa context. The second phase of the project focused on identifying criteria for the development of proposed indicators for evaluating the impact of IWRM on the lives of women and the poor in South Africa. Before deciding on the methodology to be used to develop the criteria for these indicators, it was important to identify the function and aim of the indicators, and this is discussed in the last section of the literature review. PHASE 2: Indicator Development and Case Study The next phase of the project focused on developing criteria, identified from the literature review, for proposed indicators. The indicators were then scored against well-defined criteria. Using the lessons from the literature, criteria were developed to evaluate the impact of IWRM on South Africa, and on women and the poor in particular. The key elements as foundation for IWRM, i.e. equity, access and sustainability need to have been achieved, in order for IWRM to have an impact. Sustainability is one of the cornerstones of IWRM. In order to achieve sustainability particular processes need to have been implemented. Based on this cycle, the criteria and the indicators were grouped into three categories, those of implementation, achievement and impact. During the development process 262 indicators were developed. The list of indicators is not exhaustive and is to be considered a work in progress. The primary aim of the project was to assess how IWRM would impact on the lives of women and the poor. Areas where work is progressing well or areas where progress is lacking are assessed in terms of these indicators; however, the success of implementation is not assessed. Satisfactory achievement of these indicators suggests that IWRM is being implemented and the resultant impact will be positive for women and the poor. The implementation indicators relate to the processes of water resource management, i.e. the governance and related participation, water-use measures, land-use measures, resource protection and access to water. These indicators review the success of transposing IWRM from a conceptual process into ‘on the ground’ implementation. The achievement indicators are a culmination of the implementation indicators. If particular prerequisite elements are achieved in implementation, then aspects of sustainability will be achieved. By achieving the elements of sustainability the resultant impact will be equity. The impact indicators measure progress towards equity for women and the poor in terms of their need for, and benefits of, improved water management. In order to test the indicators, a case study was undertaken. Due to time constraints, and complications in developing the criteria and indicators, only one case study was assessed. The town of Clanwilliam and the compulsory licensing project of the Jan Dissels River Catchment in particular, were used as the case study. The indicators were sent to various role-players for review and completion, including the Department of Water Affairs Regional Office, the Cederberg Municipality and the Water User Association, while the project team also scored the indicators using the reports available. The resultant scores highlight the diverse perceptions of the different role-players. For example, the DWA response was very positive. The Municipality provided a more sober and on-the-ground look at IWRM activities within the case-study area. The findings from the case study included basic access to information problems, interrogation of information vs. simple numerical reporting, and highlighted the need to assess the administration and implementation of IWRM. Findings of the case study included: • The quality of available information affected the scoring of the indicators: o Most of the information is numerical reporting, or target-point reporting, e.g. 200 taps were installed. But the reporting includes no information on whether or not the taps are still working, easily accessible, etc. o Information is available, but not in the format identified in the indicators. For example, the number of people with proximity to water of less than, equal to, or greater than 200 m, is reported, but the number of households is not. o Some of the indicators are not reported on at all, which in turn identifies future areas for information gathering and reporting. • According to the readily available reports, the public participation process and involvement of the stakeholders appears to have been fairly thorough. Similarly the promotion of water licence regulations and water conservation is fairly thorough. However, the reports do not provide any information regarding the actual implementation of the regulations and related compliance monitoring. • Despite public participation being carried out, there is no evidence that beneficiaries have taken ownership of the IWRM project. • Information regarding sector-specific allocation, use and contribution of pollutants was unavailable during the case study. This is either because it is not reported on, or it may just be unavailable. If it is the former, this points to a gap in accountability within the water governance of the catchment. Availability of such sector-specific information will assist with better allocations and management of water per sector, targeted enforcement to improve and maintain water quality, as well as a baseline to improve water efficiency. This may not be limited to this catchment specifically; rather it shows a gap in the overall process. • Due to time constraints, scoring of the impact indicators was based on the results of the implementation and achievement indicators. These could, however, be supplemented via questionnaires to the beneficiaries, in order to gain a more direct answer. • Impressions gained from the reports and the results from the DWA indicator set suggest that IWRM activities in the case-study area show promise; however, some of the feedback from the non-DWA stakeholders was not positive. Conclusions Based on the findings of the case study, as well as the project process as a whole, the following conclusions can be drawn: • While the use of indicators was aimed at evaluating the impact of IWRM on the lives of women and the poor, this project did not include an assessment of the administration, implementation, and monitoring of IWRM activities and the tangible benefits. The meeting with the Municipality raised some very pertinent points about integration vs. co-ordination, and notification vs. engagement between the government institutions, both across sectors and across spheres of government, highlighting the ‘edge’ effects in the institutional structure. While there are forums in place in the case-study area, as per the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, and issues have been raised at these forums, there is still limited integration. The examples provided by the Municipality (although one-sided), suggest that IWRM is understood, but that the hurdle lies with the administration and implementation. • The scoring of the indicators has highlighted areas where information is limited or where numerical reporting requires further interrogation. For example, water may be provided by a standpipe, but how often are the taps without water? • Access to water is a primary step to positively impacting on the lives of women and the poor, because the resultant benefits will have a more visible, tangible and measurable impact. • The translation of the benefits of IWRM to the people who are ordinary beneficiaries needs further investigation, clarity and a refined and augmented set of indicators. This project and the indicators developed were a pilot undertaking at evaluating the impact of the IWRM principles, practices and implementation on the lives of women and the poor. Questions were raised during the development process that still need further unpacking, which would lead to further refinement of the indicators.
Date Published:01/11/2010
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Catchment Management, R & D - Research capacity
Document Keywords:Surface Water, Ground Water
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1839/1/10
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0043-6
Authors:Braid S; Görgens A
Project Leader:Braid S
Project No:K5/1839
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Aurecon
Document Size:4 353 KB
Attachments:TABLE OF CONTENT for 1839.pdf
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