National Water Resources Strategy

Hi everyone

IF YOU ARE TIRED OF POLLUTED RIVERS, SHOCKING CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT, LACK OF WATER RELATED COMPLAINCE AND ENFORCEMENT, ENDLESS PLANS FOR MORE BIG DAMS, IMPACTS ON IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITIES : now is your chance to rectify things and have a say in the future of South Africa’s water resources. If you don’t participate, the bottom line is that you have NO right in the future to bemoan the declining health of our rivers.

The draft National Water Resources Strategy is out for comment. There is a stakeholders meeting in Durban on 8 November and comment is due on 6th December. If you wish to attend the meeting on 8 November, please rsvp to Ms Esmé Wood (Central) on 031-336 2839 / or Ms Eurika Ramdin (South) on 031-336 2906 or Ms Nombuso Holweni (North) on 031-336 2835 /

I have just been given a CD containing the World Commission on Dams (WCD) Report. This report was reviewed over a period of 3 years by a high powered multi stakeholder group in South Africa, and they made comments and various recommendations, most of which supported the WCD. They released the report in November 2004, and basically the report was shoved into file 13 and seems to have been largely ignored. I have read through the SA Stakeholder report which I will happily send to you if you contact me – .(DAMS – SA Substantive Report). To save you reading all 118 pages, I have highlighted pertinent points in yellow, and made a couple of my own comments in capitals. Text in red is when I feel something is extremely important. The draft document they refer to is superseded by the one to be discussed at next Fridays meeting I feel very strongly that the recommendations of the Dam report should be included in the National Water Resource Strategy, and I beg you to register as an IAP and take part to ensure that they ARE included. (Remember that there are 2 dams planned on the Umkomaas and another two on the Tugela for yet more inter catchment transfer schemes).  

Some other items that desperately need inclusion in the report are : Fracking Climate Change Desalination Rain water harvesting policy change – illegal as per some municipal bye laws! Sewage to fresh water recycling Management of water quality Interbasin transfers Monitoring & Compliance issue. I have, thanks to Vodacom, been unable to access the draft doc on the website yet, so have been unable to check if any of the recommendation re dams have been included, and also assume that the draft is a massive tome. I was thinking that if any of you are prepared to register as IAPs, if we could maybe “share” the task of reading thro the draft document, each taking on a section, summarising it for the others, ie pool our time, knowledge etc etc. I will be attending the meeting in Durban & am happy to summarise & report back to you all. You can register as an IAP (Interested & Affected Party) either as an organisation or as an individual. Perhaps some individuals could get together and register as a group. This registration would be via the contact details above. – I am happy to advise / help. The draft document is available on Please let me know if you are interested on becoming involved so we can all work together to ensure clean healthy rivers in South Africa – and please pass this on ASAP to anyone who may be interested in taking part.

Many thanks, Penny


About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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3 Responses to National Water Resources Strategy

  1. Bart Fokkens says:

    Hi Penny,

    There appears to be a serious omission in my point of view in all this water debate stuff.

    Hardened surfaces need to be reduced so that more water can infiltrate the ground water.

    Ie driveways, parking lots roofs, this water runoff needs to be allowed to infiltrate the ground so as to replenish the ground water and raise the water table.

    Currently we are increasing our runoff into the stormwater systems and thus increasing the flow in the rivers especially in times of heavy rainfall.

    In OZ,one is not allowed to wash ones car on a hardened surface. Has to be done on your lawn. This ensures infiltration.

    Here in Glenashley we have a house with a TARRED verge. ie no mowing needed. Absorbs heat increases runoff and exacerbates our problem.

    W need to address the problem. STOP BREEDING!

    Sure we are concerned about environmental issues but have to in all our talks and interactions with people address the problem as our country has a limited carrying capacity (nice agricultural term).

    STOP the breeding, we can’t build an endless number of schools , houses clinics etc.

    Don’t encourage women to have children. Stop the child subsidies.

    OK that’s all for a Sunday morning. Sun is out so I have to mow the lawn.


    • Penny Rees says:

      Bart I agree – every EIA comment I submit, I ask for permeable paving. You wont believe the excuses that the consultants come up with, all pathetic. It is a mind set that needs changing — that roads and paths HAVE to be tarred. I think recently, one of the development proposals actually took up the suggestion and have included permeable surfaces. – one down, thousands more to go. And ja, Mama Earth is over her carrying capacity, but many don’t bother to notice that……dollar signs rule

  2. Pingback: Water Resources Meeting Notes | uMngeni River Walk

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