No immediate threat, but a warning of emerging gaps

The Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture study by the International Water Management Institute indicates that about 1,2-billion people, almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of physical scarcity, while some 500-million are approaching this situation, with almost one- quarter of the world’s population facing economic water shortage. Of concern is that South Africa is identified as one of the countries at risk of suffering ‘acute water scarcity’. Hitherto, South Africa’s reputation for managing this scarcity is renowned. In fact, the National Water Act (NWA) of 1998, which aims to manage, control, conserve, protect and use water in a sustainable and equitable manner, for the benefit of all people, has been hailed internationally, and significant and well-considered reforms have been made to adopt an integrated approach to water resource management to ensure poverty alleviation and growth.

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