Strategic Decision-making For Water Resource Management In Semi-arid Metropolitan And Rural Areas
Free (open access)
W. J. de Lange & T. E. Kleynhans
This paper explores natural resource management decision-making for sustainable long-term water resource management in semi-arid regions. The paper lobbies for reconsideration of current long-term natural resource management decision-making methodologies. It uses bulk-water resource management in semi-arid areas to illustrate shortcomings in current methodologies that could lead to unsustainable resource utilisation. Information asymmetry is put forward as the main reason for shortcomings in the current methodologies. The risk of ignorance concerning asymmetry is explained. The financial and political markets as management strategies for scarce resources are explained and revised, and shortcomings are identified. The paper concludes by emphasizing the complexity of water management in semi-arid areas. A systems approach towards sustainable long-term water resource management in semi-arid areas is recommended and the process of multi-criteria decision-making is offered as a suitable decision-making aid, given that some refinements with regard to spatial, time and geographical dimensions of the methodology are developed. Keywords: water policy development; strategic water management; bulk-water supply management; sustainable resource utilisation; multi-criteria decision analysis; seawater desalination.
water policy development; strategic water management; bulk-water supply management; sustainable resource utilisation; multi-criteria decision analysis; seawater desalination.