WIT Press

Application Of Economic Instruments, Tradable Licenses And Good Governance For Sustainable Water Conservation


Free (open access)





Page Range

15 - 24




265 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


W. L. Nieuwoudt & G. R. Backeberg


According to the National Water Policy in South Africa the objectives are to achieve equitable access to water, and to promote efficient and sustainable use for optimum social and economic benefit. The National Water Act provides the legal framework and the National Water Resource Strategy explains the ways in which water resources will be managed. Several inter-related actions are taken to implement water conservation and demand management. The results of completed and ongoing research projects in South Africa demonstrate the application of technologies for direct and indirect water measurement in rivers, canals and pipelines. Decision support systems are available to determine the cost of irrigation and assess the risks of agricultural water management on farms. Empirical analyses have been done of temporary or permanent transfers and lease or trade of water use entitlements on irrigation schemes with stable and variable water supply. The establishment and functioning of catchment management agencies (CMA’s) for local water management by different water use sectors including irrigation have been evaluated. Based on these studies it is concluded that volumetric charging and cost recovery of water supply services through a two-part charging system is practically feasible. Complete description of water use entitlements and provision of information must improve to increase security and reduce the risks associated with market trades. Training and capacity building is essential to support participation by all water users and maintain standards of accountability for irrigation management. Keywords: water user charges, water marketing, water governance.


water user charges, water marketing, water governance.