5.6 Water Resource Management Environment

Local and district municipalities in the Cape West Coast are working together to explore and study the groundwater system, to understand it and successfully implement sustainable water supply schemes. The approach taken in this MAR research and implementation project can be best described as an inclusive one which integrates water resources social and scientific elements of the system/region – in essence an integrated water resource management approach.

Achieving Stakeholder Engagement

Even before consideration of MAR, development of the Langebaan Road wellfield had shown that structured participation in the management of these local groundwater resources was of critical importance and that success could not be achieved without cooperation between all parties, in particular the various government departments. These stakeholders all participate in some capacity in decision making regarding the testing, implementing and monitoring of MAR in the Langebaan and Elandsfontein areas. An independent monitoring committee was considered to be of utmost importance to ensure the successful management of a sustainable groundwater resource (du Plessis, 2009).

Stakeholder engagement complemented the hydro-sciences component of the implementation. To achieve engagement, a stakeholder map was developed to identify the linkages between stakeholders, get their input into the project and engage them further to identify emergent political, social, cultural and economic dynamics related to the MAR scheme. The range of stakeholders (Table 6) identified in this way can provide insight into the complexity of integrated water resource management.

Table 6  Stakeholders in the Langebaan scheme.

Government National Department of Public Works; National Department of Water, Sanitation and Human Settlements; National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries; SANParks; SA National Defence Force; Cape Nature; Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning; Western Cape Department of Agriculture; Western Cape Regional Office of Water, Sanitation and Human Settlements; West Coast Tourism; West Coast District Municipality; Swartland Local Municipality; Berg River Local Municipality; Saldanha Bay Local Municipality
Civil Society and NGOs West Coast Biosphere; Saldanha Bay Water Quality Forum; St Helena Bay Water Quality Forum; the West Coast Fossil Park; West Coast Botanical Society; Birdlife SA
R&D CSIR; University of the Western Cape; Anchor Environmental Consultants
Water users Ward Committees; Farmers Associations in Hopefield and Vredendal; the Aquaculture Society in Langebaan; land owners and farm owners; the Berg-Olifants proto Catchment Management Association; Berg River and Wilge River Irrigation Boards; mines; other industrial users; small-scale farmers
Media Swartland and Weslander newspapers


Managed Aquifer Recharge: Southern Africa Copyright © 2021 by Eberhard Braune and Sumaya Israel. All Rights Reserved.