Guidelines for the development of Catchment Management Strategies in South Africa
On behalf of DWAF, AWARD co-ordinated a collaborative initiative, together with Zinkwazi Consulting and Water for Africa, to develop guidelines for drafting catchment management strategies (CMS). (see Pollard et al. 2007 These strategies are to be developed by each of the 19 Catchment Management Agencies in South Africa (CMA) which are in the process of being established. The CMS is a statutory document providing the vision and strategic actions to address integrated water resources management, based on the best available information. Progressive development requires stakeholder cooperation and agreement, regular review, and set principles for allocating water that take account of protection, use, development, conservation, management and control of water resources.
The Guidelines for the development of Catchment Management Strategies: Towards equity, efficiency and sustainability, finalized in February 2007, present an overview of integrated, strategic processes associated with managing water resources at the Water Management Area (WMA) level, as required by the National Water Act of 1998. The guidelines form part of a suite of guideline documents developed by DWAF to facilitate Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Strategic approaches are required for achieving equity, sustainability and efficiency in alignment with policy. Strategies are higher order plans that set the strategic actions to be followed to achieve goals at the interface between policies and projects. A water resources management strategy is “a set of medium to long term action programmes to support the achievement of development goals and to implement water-related policies”. To facilitate this strategic and integrated approach, a framework for IWRM in South Africa was developed, and the guideline, reflect each of these core strategic areas.
Overall framework guiding the development of the Catchment Management Strategies. RDM= Resource Directed Measures and SDC = Source Directed Controls (Source Pollard et al. 2007)
Understanding the current situation from a range of perspectives (biophysical, socio-economic and technical) and the setting of an appropriate vision are considered critical steps for the development of the strategies which must be responsive to the context. These constitute Part (A) foundational information. This is followed by a range of strategies all comprising the CMS. The strategies include those for (B) water resources management (water resource protection, water use authorisation); (C) facilitating strategies (public engagement and capacity development; finances and information management and monitoring) and (D) an integration strategy of co-operative governance. Participation is essential and considerable effort to describe and unpack different types of participation is made in the guidelines.
A training programme on the CMS guidelines for the emerging CMAs is currently being established as part of the FETWater initiative