The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has begun with public consultations on the third edition of the National Water Resources Strategy (NWRS-3), which shall be concluded by 29 October 2022. The NWRS is the blueprint for water resources management in South Africa and binds all authorities and institutions in implementing or operationalizing the National Water Act.

As stated in the recent NWRS-3, South Africa is a signatory to the following conventions:

  • The Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, an international treaty of May 1997.
  • The Revised Protocol on Share Water Courses in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Furthermore, against this backdrop, South Africa shares four major international river systems with neighbouring countries:

  • The Orange/Senqu system is shared with Lesotho (trans boundary), Botswana and Namibia (contiguous);
  • The Limpopo system is shared with Botswana, and Zimbabwe (contiguous) and Mozambique (transboundary);
  • The Nkomati system is shared with Eswatini and Mozambique (transboundary); and
  • The Usutu/Pongola-Maputo system is shared with Mozambique and Swaziland (transboundary).

The South African water sector will focus on a multitude of areas by 2030:

  • Reducing water demand and increasing supply;
  • Redistributing water for transformation;
  • Managing water and sanitation services under a changing climate;
  • Regulating the water and sanitation sector;
  • Improving raw water quality;
  • Protecting and restoring ecological infrastructure for the green economy;
  • Creating effective water sector institutions;
  • Promoting international cooperation;
  • Building capacity for action;
  • Ensuring financial sustainability;
  • Managing data and information in line with 4IR and global knowledge;
  • Enhancing research, development, and innovation.
  • Addressing legislative and policy gap.

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