21 October 2004
   Leriba Lodge, Centurion, Pretoria

                       FETWATER RDM TRAINING NETWORK
                          SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS

Date:          21 October 2004
Time:          09:30–17:00
Venue:         Leriba Lodge, Centurion, Pretoria

Prof Janine Adams, University of Port Elizabeth
Dr Shafick Adams, University of the Western Cape
Mr Mick Angliss, Limpopo Environmental Affairs
Ms Toni Belcher, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry,
Mr Cilliers Blaauw, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry,
Dr Cate Brown, Southern Waters Ecological Research and Consulting
Ms Thembela Bushula, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, RDM Intern
Ms Mpho Daswa, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Dr Heather Davies Coleman, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University
Prof Jenny Day, University of Cape Town
Dr Chris Dickens, Umgeni Water
Dr Evan Dollar, ESJ Dollar Consulting
Mr Jan du Plessis, Water Research Commission
Ms Erika Espach, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Carl Fest, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Lloyd Flanagan, Parsons and Associates
Ms Laura Forster, Training and Instructional Design Academy of SA (TIDASA)
Dr Mark Graham, Umgeni Water
Mr Dana Grobler, Blue Science Consulting
Mr Xolani Hadebe, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mrs Lil Haigh, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University
Mrs Hanlie Hattingh, CSIR, Environmentek
Mr Beyers Havenga, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Liesl Hill, CSIR, Environmentek
Prof Bruce Kelbe, University of Zululand
Dr Neels Kleynhans, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Delana Louw, IWR Source-to-Sea
Ms Amanda Luxande, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Samkelisiwe Mabaso, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Rudzani Maboko, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Dr Heather Mackay, Water Research Commission
Mr Jabulani Maluleke, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Solly Manyaka, Zitholele Consulting/Golder Associates Africa (Pty)
Ms Lebogang Matlala, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Andrew Mavurayi, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Thokozani Mbhele, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Gareth McConkey, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Dr Steve Mitchell, Water Research Commission
Mr William Mosefowa, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Dr Nikite Muller, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University
Mr Piet Muller, Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
Ms Tovhowani Ndiitwani, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Jeanne Nel, CSIR, Environmentek
Mr Rufus Nengovhela, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Dr Suzan Oelofse, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Roger Parsons, Parsons and Associates
Mr Harrison Pienaar, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Seef Rademeyer, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Hermien Roux, North West Nature Conservation
Mr Bill Rowlston, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

Dr Cornelius Ruiters, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Adhishri Singh, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Victor Siphugu, Bembani Sustainability Training
Ms Bernice Smit, Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd
Mrs Retha Stassen, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Frans Stoffberg, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Toriso Tlou, Tlou & Mallory (Pty) Ltd
Ms Colleen Todd, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Pieter van Niekerk, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Johan van Rooyen, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mr Niel van Wyk, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mrs Gerda Venter, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Annette Wentzel, Department of Water Affairs and
Mr Johan Wentzel, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Mrs Barbara Weston, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Ms Tandi Zokufa, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

Scribe: Mrs Robyn Arnold


WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................. 1
PURPOSE OF THE SYMPOSIUM............................................................................................................... 1
Executive Coordinator, DWAF) .................................................................................................................... 1
FETWATER RDM TRAINING NETWORK (Dana Grobler, Network coordinator, Blue Science Consulting)... 3
FETWATER GROUNDWATER RDM TRAINING NETWORK (Roger Parsons, Network coordinator, Parsons
and Associates)........................................................................................................................................... 4
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS.................................................................................................................. 6
PROPOSED BENEFICIAL USE OF WATER NETWORK (Professor Bruce Kelbe, University of Zululand) ... 6
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS.................................................................................................................. 7
PROCESS AND LESSONS LEARNED (Dr Heather MacKay, WRC)............................................................ 9
PERSPECTIVE (Ms Toni Belcher, DWAF Western Cape).......................................................................... 12
Brown (presenter), Dana Grobler, Xolani Hadebe, Andrew Mavurayi, Janine Adams, Toni Belcher, Laura
Forster) ..................................................................................................................................................... 14
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 16
.................................................................................................................................................................. 16
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT (Harrison Pienaar) ............................................................. 21
FRAMEWORK (E.S.J. Dollar (presenter), C.A. Brown, C.C. Colvin, D. Grobler, S. Manyaka, L. Molefe, A.
Pott, J.T. Turpie & A.R. Turton).................................................................................................................. 21
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 25
Kleynhans, DWAF) .................................................................................................................................... 26
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 30
Hanlie Hattingh, Consultants' Project Manager, CSIR Environmentek (presenter)) ..................................... 30
WATER USE MANAGEMENT AND LICENSING (Dr Cornelius Ruiters, Chief Director: Water Use, DWAF)32
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 34
RDM METHODOLOGY STATUS (Adhishri Singh)..................................................................................... 34
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 35
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 38
Adams, University of Port Elizabeth).......................................................................................................... 38
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS................................................................................................................ 40
CLOSURE................................................................................................................................................. 40
Bill Rowlston.............................................................................................................................................. 40
Harrison Pienaar ....................................................................................................................................... 40


CAPE               Cape Action Plan for the Environment
CD                 Compact disc
CERM               Consortium for Estuarine Research and Management
CHE                Committee on Higher Education
CMA                Catchment management agency
CSIR               Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Danced             Danish Cooperation for Development and Environment
DEAT               Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
DFID               Department for International Development
DWAF               Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
FETWater           Framework Programme for Education and Training in the Water Sector in
                   South Africa
GEF                Global Environmental Facility
GIS                Geographic information system
IHE                International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental
RDM                Resource directed measures
RQS                Resource Quality Services (DWAF Directorate)
SAQA               South African Qualifications Authority
UNESCO             United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
USA                United States of America
USAID              US Agency for International Development
WEM                Water environment management
WMO                World Meteorological Organisation
WRC                Water Research Commission


Mr Pienaar welcomed delegates to the RDM Mini Symposium and provided an opportunity for introductions.
He stressed that the symposium would offer an opportunity for networking.


Mr Pienaar introduced the objectives of the workshop as follows:
 To provide more information on FETWater, the Resourced Directed Measures (RDM) network, the
    Groundwater RDM network and other proposed networks
 To provide an overview of the legal and historical development aspects of RDM
 To report back on the outcome of recently held regional RDM introductory module training courses
 To provide information on the progress with the River Conservation Project
 To discuss progress with the development of the water resources classification system
 To share ideas and exchange knowledge on RDM and the implementation of the various provision of
 To introduce the proposed masters programme in Environmental Water Requirements (an RDM network
 To initiate a regional/provincial collaboration initiative to enhance the integration between the various
    role players at local levels responsible for water resource protection.

FETWater Executive Coordinator, DWAF)

FETWater is an acronym for the Framework Programme for Education and Training in the Water Sector in
South Africa. The initial impetus for FETWater occurred in 1998. International acknowledgement of the need
for sustainable development and integrated water resources management and the passing of the National
Water Act in South Africa resulted in new training needs to put the integrated approach into practice. DWAF
requested UNESCO and the WMO to assist South Africa in assessing existing education and training versus
new training needs. The recommendation of the assessment was to initiate a framework for education and
training programmes in the water sector. The long-term goal of FETWater is to serve as a programme for
effective cooperation in training and capacity building needs through networks among partners in tertiary
institutions, government and the private sector. FETWater was established in 2002. Some of the mileposts
in the establishment of FETWater were the following:
 February 2002: Ms Annette Wentzel was appointed as coordinator.
 March 2002: An agreement was signed between DWAF, the Flemish Government and UNESCO, which
     would act administrator.
 April/May 2002: The coordinator was trained in Europe. Ms Wentzel realised that although the network
     models in operation in Europe are very successful, they are not suitable for South African conditions
     without some modification. One of the major differences between Europe and South Africa is that there
     is vastly more funding available for networks in Europe. Much effort has gone into defining a model that
     is appropriate to South Africa.
 June 2002: An interim management committee was appointed under the chairmanship of Henk van
     Vliet, with representation of DWAF, the Water Research Commission (WRC), the Council for Scientific
     and Industrial Research (CSIR) and professional service providers
 March–September 2002: Consultation with stakeholders took place.

FETWater is not a DWAF initiative but operates to serve the South African water sector as a whole. The
goals of FETWater are to:
 Identify education, training and capacity needs in the water sector
 Make provision for these needs by developing programmes
 Support the creation of training and capacity building networks as a method for effective cooperation
    between universities, research institutions, and the public and private sectors.

FETWater supports network activities that are priority and demand driven, that improve integrated
approaches, and that bring together the service providers and the recipients of the intended knowledge
transfer as well as the service providing institutions.

FETWater will financially support networks that reflect the identified priorities of FETWater programmes and
for which no funding (or insufficient funding) is available from elsewhere.

The first programme identified for FETWater in its first phase (2002-2005) was the Water Environmental
Management Programme, with an emphasis on the environmental management of the water resource. It
was decided that the highest priority for the first phase should be resource directed measures, including
quality, quantity, the Reserve and classification. During the second phase (2006-2010), the focus will be on
integrated water resources management. It is fairly certain that the Flemish government and UNESCO will
again fund the second phase, and confirmation is expected early in 2005.

One of the critical questions that FETWater is facing at present is whether to remain a South African-based
programme or whether to become a SADC (Southern African Development Community) programme and

FETWater has the following structures:
 Steering Committee: the decision-making body appointed by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry.
   The Steering Committee has not yet been finalised.
 Executive Committee: an advisory committee
 Executive Coordinator: Ms Wentzel is currently acting in this capacity.
 Network coordinators: responsible for involving partners and addressing proposals for network training.
 Secretariat.

The budget for FETWater for the first phase (2002–2005) is as follows:
Flemish Trust Fund:            US$ 207 900
UNESCO:                        US$ 44 800
WRC:                           US$ 28 571
DWAF:                          US$ 301 357
DWAF:                          20% of salary of Executive Coordinator
Total contribution:            US$ 582 628

Increased support from the Flemish government is expected for the second phase.

The following voluntary networks have been established since 2002:
 RDM Training Network, of which Dana Grobler is coordinator
 Groundwater RDM Training Network, of which Roger Parsons is coordinator and Lloyd Flanagan
   assistant coordinator.

A network on Beneficial Water Use Training has also been proposed. Proposals for additional networks are
expected to be presented at the next annual FETWater meeting in January 2005.

The agreement with the Flemish government makes provision for mobility between Europe and South Africa
(in either direction). The following mobility activities can be reported:
 Ms Wentzel's seven-week training in Europe in 2002
 The visit by three academics from the University of Leuven in 2003: Prof Jean Berlamont (Hydraulics),
     Prof Luc Brendonck (Research) and Prof Jos Odeurs (Physics)
 Training of two network coordinators (Dana Grobler and Roger Parsons) and one assistant network
     coordinator (Lloyd Flanagan) in Europe (24 May-4 June 2004)

Ms Wentzel reported that she and the Executive Committee were very gratified at the progress made with
FETWater in the short space of time since 2002. Another output since then had been the compilation of the
Guideline document.

FETWATER RDM TRAINING NETWORK (Dana Grobler, Network coordinator, Blue Science

In 1998, international acknowledgement of the importance of sustainable development and integrated water
resources management, along with the passing of the National Water Act, resulted in new training needs.
The report on the capacity audit by UNESCO and the WMO is available. In 2002, Dana Grobler and Heather
MacKay conducted a specific capacity audit to assess the need for technical skills and capacity specifically
to implement resource directed measures (as expressed in Chapter 3 of the National Water Act), including
classification, the Reserve and resource quality objectives. The audit identified the need for integration
between disciplines such as hydrology, hydraulics, water quality, ecology and geomorphology relating to
rivers, wetlands, groundwater and estuaries.

The RDM training network was then established, and currently has the following members:
Prof Janine Adams             University of Port Elizabeth
Ms Toni Belcher               DWAF Western Cape
Dr Cate Brown                 Southern Waters Consulting
Prof Jenny Day                University of Cape Town (Curriculum development)
Ms Laura Forster              Tidasa
Mr Dana Grobler               Network coordinator
Ms Lil Haigh                  Rhodes University
Prof Bruce Kelbe              University of Zululand
Ms Delana Louw                IWR Source to Sea
Prof Jay O'Keeffe             IHE, The Netherlands
Dr Heather Davies Coleman     Rhodes University
Mr Lindela Tshwete            DWAF: RQS.

The purpose of the network is to collaborate by sharing resources and knowledge to:
 Create new training opportunities
 Facilitate training interventions
 Develop training material
 Increase awareness of water environmental management and water resources protection
 Focus on the integration required to achieve water resources protection.

One of the key current activities is the development of a curriculum for a masters programme in
Environmental Water Requirements. RDM forms part of this but is expressly not the main focus. It is
proposed that a number of collaborating universities will jointly present the masters programme.

Since the start of 2004, the network has conducted regional training on the RDM introductory module. Eight
courses have been conducted in seven of the DWAF regional offices and two courses in head office,
attended by a total of 156 students (26 of whom were from institutions other than DWAF). Four more
courses are planned. The input and outcome, received from participants, has been documented and will be
used for strategic guidance. The current workshop is an initiative of the RDM network.

The following modules are being developed for the masters degree in environmental water management:
Module 1:      Balancing use and protection
Module 2:      Legal and regulatory framework (South African perspective)
               Communication public participation
               Project management
               Resource economics
Module 3:      Surface/groundwater hydrology
Module 4:      Hydraulics/hydrodynamics
Module 5:      Geomorphology
Module 6:      Water quality
Module 7:      Aquatic ecology
Module 8:      System operations/Management options for water supply
Module 9:      Technical integration
Module 10:     Procedures for environmental water management
Module 11:     Implementation

Some of the modules use the South African situation as a case study, but the intention is not to train
geomorphologists or water quality specialists, but rather to focus on the integration that is needed between
disciplines within the framework provided by the national custodian of water resources protection. It is
planned that the masters programme will be formally instituted as from 2006, initially in the following four
universities: Rhodes University and the universities of Cape Town, Zululand and Port Elizabeth. The network
is considering using the comprehensive Reserve determination studies to enhance RDM training by
exposing trainees to RDM methodologies.

The following are some of the future activities planned for the network:
 Student exchange and collaboration on excursions
 Initiating regular scientific dialogue about water resources protection issues (starting with the present
 Expanding the network activities beyond being project driven and possibly combining the RDM and
   Groundwater RDM networks

In operating the network to date, the following lessons have been learnt:
 There is a difference between a project and a network. A network is a conglomerate of activities focused
    in a particular area, whereas a project has a specific duration.
 Administrative and legal requirements will have to be overcome if several universities are to jointly
    present the masters programme.
 Various related activities could potentially overlap and should instead be managed so as to complement
    one another.
 Professor Jay O'Keeffe had submitted a proposal for funding to USAID.
 The network will endeavour to source funding from DWAF for student bursaries in order to initiate the
    masters programme.

Parsons and Associates)

The Groundwater RDM network had started from a different perspective from the RDM network. The
groundwater methodologies associated with RDM had been identified as a priority, and Mr Parsons had
been tasked with setting up a network specifically to document the methodologies and institute training. The
manual on groundwater RDM had received financial support from both DWAF and the WRC, for which Mr
Parsons expressed his thanks on behalf of the network. The core group involved in the preparation of the
manual had largely comprised people from the DWAF RDM office who were involved in applying methods
that had already been documented and had been used before.

The following had been involved in writing the manual:
Parsons - Parsons and Associates
Wentzel - DWAF
Godfrey - CSIR
Dennis - IGS
Conrad - GEOSS
Hobbs - DWAF

The following had been involved in the review of the manual:
Van Tonder - IGS
Mavurayi - DWAF

The manual was completed in September 2004, which means that there is now a standard methodology
available for calculating the groundwater component of the Reserve.

The network had conducted three training courses, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, attended by
a total of some 50 people. Two more courses were planned in November, in Bloemfontein and Durban.

Another contribution of the network had been the preparation of guiding software. Professor Gerrit van
Tonder of the Institute of Groundwater Studies in Bloemfontein had developed an Excel programme to work
through the groundwater component of RDM. This programme had been converted to easy-to-use software.

The software forces one to work in a certain sequence, and has limited GIS capacity, showing which
quaternary catchment one is working in. The software is readily suitable for desktop and rapid assessments.
Methodologies for calculating recharge and flow are available. The software incorporates the Herold method
for calculating the groundwater component of baseflow. A funding proposal is being compiled with the
objective of making the software more complete.

The network has begun to look more closely at surface water–groundwater interaction, with assistance from
Professor Dennis Hughes. A handbook on surface water–groundwater interaction has been prepared with
funding from the WRC.

There has been a shift in outlook among groundwater practitioners since their meeting in December 1997,
and the community is achieving some success in getting practitioners involved in surface water, wetlands
and estuaries to think more holistically about groundwater, although this remains a challenge.

The network is facing the following issues:
 Definition of 'stress'
 Clear definition of a 'significant' water resource
 Integration into the management of water resources
 The work of the network is currently largely on a technical basis, and ways of taking it into the public
   arena will have to be explored
 The courses have indicated the challenge in terms of allocation – across farm boundaries, how to meet
   international obligations, how to incorporate considerations of equity. This has been the message from
   the DWAF regional offices.

The focus of future activities of the network will be the following:
 Taking the training into tertiary institutions
 Integrating groundwater RDM more closely with the RDM network
 Using the groundwater network to address groundwater matters.

The network includes the six universities that currently offer groundwater training:
 University of the Free State
 University of the Western Cape
 University of Venda
 University of Zululand
 University of the Witwatersrand
 University of Pretoria.

Other network partners include:
 Kevin Pietersen (WRC and Groundwater Division, representing the industry at large)
 Johan Wentzel (DWAF)
 Fanie Botha (DWAF Planning).

The network had held its first meeting and was considering linkages between universities in terms of
collaborative research and swapping of resources (such as sharing of lecturers). The network had planned a
student tour to the Western Cape in December 2004, led by Lloyd Flanagan (assistant network coordinator)
to introduce students to groundwater issues and encourage the formation of an informal network among
groundwater students. A student conference in 2005 was being considered.

As regards the future of the network, it would be up to the network partners to come up with ideas and
advise on other partners that should be included. The network intends to focus on education and training in
groundwater. Considerable resources are required to effectively manage South Africa's groundwater, given
that 10 million South Africans rely on groundwater for their water supply. The intention is to draw the network
into the Groundwater Division, the professional society for groundwater practitioners, as a sub-component of
a network that already exists within the Division. The Groundwater RDM network needs to take cognisance
of the needs of the sector.


On the issue of the Groundwater RDM training, Mr Wentzel commented that approximately half of the
people that had attended the training courses had been from institutions and organisations other than
DWAF. He thus considered that the network was achieving its goal of spreading its message to the whole
fraternity and forming a network that people are willing to buy into.

In response to a question from Mr Manyaka on what the network had done to attract these people to the
training courses, Mr Wentzel replied that there had been an emphasis on the need for a standardised
approach to groundwater RDM.

Mr Manyaka questioned why the University of the North was not involved in the network. Mr Parsons
responded that the university does not focus specifically on groundwater, but does conduct work on
integrated water resources management. The network was currently working with the University of Venda,
and giving consideration to which other partners to bring in.

PROPOSED BENEFICIAL USE OF WATER NETWORK (Professor Bruce Kelbe, University of

The initial proposal for a Beneficial Use of Water network had been presented to the FETWater annual
meeting in Lambert's Bay in January 2004, and a formal proposal had been submitted to the FETWater
Executive Committee in August 2004. The concept of the network had been tentatively accepted in principle.
A series of meetings had thus been initiated to take the proposal forward. An initial meeting of interested
parties had taken place in September 2004 to finalise the proposal, and the participation had been extended
when a second meeting had been held in October 2004.

The background to the proposal includes the limited water supply in South Africa, and the transformation
reflected in policy regulations and legislation over the last decade, taking into consideration:
 Environmental use allocation
 Economic constrains
 Strategic needs
 Social and political aspirations.

The National Water Act recognises seven basic water uses:
 Taking (abstracting) water from a water resource
 Storing water
 All aspects of the discharge of wastes into water resources
 Removing, discharging or disposing of water found underground if it is necessary for the efficient
   continuation of an activity or for the safety of people
 Making changes to the physical structure of rivers and streams
 Certain activities that may affect the quantity or quality of water in the resource
 Using water for recreational purposes.

According to the National Water Resource Strategy, the priorities for allocating water, in order of importance,
 Provision of the Reserve
 Meeting international obligations
 Meeting the needs for water for strategic purposes
 Meeting the needs of general, social and economic uses.

A thorough understanding of beneficial water use is essential for both water use authorisation and
compulsory licensing. The network is intended to consider how to incorporate beneficial use into the
authorisation and licensing procedure.

Licenses give existing or prospective water users formal authorisation to use water for productive or
beneficial purposes. A licence:
 Replaces all previous entitlements, if any, to use water for the purpose specified in the licence.

   Is specific to the user to whom it is issued, and to a particular property or area.
   Is specific to the use or uses for which it is issued.
   Is valid for a specified time period, which may not exceed 40 years.
   May have a range of conditions attached to it
   Must be reviewed by the responsible authority at least every five years.

Compulsory licensing will apply if it is desirable that water use in respect of one or more water resources
within a specific geographic area be licensed:
 To achieve a fair allocation of water from a stressed water resource
 When it is necessary to review prevailing water use to achieve equity in allocations
 To promote beneficial use of water in the public interest
 To facilitate efficient management of the water resource and to protect water resource quality.

Beneficial water use in allocation is the next logical phase for FETWater after addressing resource directed
measures. Allocation is associated with the vision for catchment management agencies (CMAs), RDM, the
allocation plan and licensing. Beneficial water use could form part of the RDM network (and consideration
might be given in the future to merging these two), but after initial consultation with interested parties, the
consensus is that it should form a separate network, at least at first.

The goals for the network entail linking resource managers, educators and other major stakeholders in order
to establish the concept and information on the beneficial use of water to support the allocation process; and
developing approaches to educating and training resource managers to engage in a multi-stakeholder
process relating to water allocation.

Progress in establishing the network has entailed the following steps:
 Inaugural meeting in Pretoria on 31 August 2004 with selective stakeholders (mostly from DWAF and
   the WRC) to identify the purpose of the network within FETWater, as well as to identify its aims and
 Proposing a way forward through the setting of goals that could be taken to a wider audience
 Exploring possible education and training approaches. Education and training models that have been
   considered include:
       o The RDM approach, which started with a fairly unknown process, and established well-defined
            procedures to achieve its objective, with integrated modules for specific audiences. Tertiary
            programmes are being structured to be taken to universities, the Department of Education, the
            Committee on Higher Education (CHE) and the South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for
            registration and accreditation. However, the RDM network started with a large body of existing
       o The beneficial water use network will probably have to take a different approach to bring these
            diverse groups in, possibly with conflicting ideas about how water should be allocated. Although
            the concept of beneficial water use has been in existence for more than a century, new aspects
            include social and equity issues. The stakeholders comprise a far larger group than for RDM.
            The approach adopted might make use of the experiential learning model to engage multi-
            stakeholder learners from diverse backgrounds and disciplines in a consensus building
            approach for water allocation policy and planning (Schrijver & MacKay, 1998).
 The final proposal will be submitted by the end of October.


Ms Weston enquired about the extent to which the proposed beneficial water use network takes cognisance
of a proposal to Danced for a project with the same name. Ms Weston undertook to pass on to Professor
Kelbe the information on the beneficial water use proposal to Danced.

Professor Kelbe replied that he was not familiar with the Danced proposal, but stressed that as educators,
the intention had been to incorporate the ideas of beneficial water use into training programmes.

Mr Grobler pointed out that networks should not focus on technical work, but rather on capacity building,
training and the transfer of technical skills. If the focus of the proposal to Danced was on developing

technical tools and methodologies, there was essentially no overlap with the proposed Beneficial Water Use

Professor Kelbe stressed that the network would operate within the framework of education and training and
would rely on the techniques and procedures developed elsewhere. The network could, however, identify
specific technical projects that would be required, but all network activities would remain focused on the
education and training outcome.

Mr van Niekerk enquired about the representation of institutions and disciplines at the inaugural meeting.

Professor Kelbe responded that the first meeting had not attempted to incorporate the major stakeholders of
the proposed network, but had concentrated on finalising the proposal. The meeting had been attended by
representatives of DWAF (particularly the RDM office) and the WRC. Academics had also been involved in
preparing the proposal. The people that had attended the exploratory meeting had compiled a list of 30–40
people in the regions that might be interesting in becoming involved in the network, and they would be
approached and invited to begin incorporating other people from their area.

Mr van Niekerk commented that he found beneficial water use an intriguing concept for the focus of a
network, since it is an elusive concept, which is open to subjective interpretation that may differ from place to
place. The interpretation depends on the type of user as opposed to the value of the ecological flows that
should remain in the system. Beneficial water use and allocation are opposite sides of the coin. The
classification of a river, or reach of a river, would have to be decided, and this responsibility represents the
entire task of the water resources manager. Even before the need to determine the Reserve, it had always
been a conundrum of allocation whether it was beneficial to allocate water for a specific use, and this always
had to be weighed up against the alternative purposes for which the water could be allocated. Beneficial
water use thus takes account of the whole spectrum of integrated water resources management in the
broadest sense.

Professor Kelbe pointed out that in some other countries (notably Australia and the USA, where all water
use has to be classified in terms of beneficial use), the term 'beneficial use' is used as a preferred alternative
to the term 'allocation'. When allocation is done, it is always necessary to know the benefits that could
accrue from any alternative uses. The network covers a broad span, and would have to create some focus
in order to identify the gaps and define the needs. Professor Kelbe was in favour of Dr MacKay's view that
the real issue is how to resolve conflicting uses and needs in a particular situation, with the associated need
to train people to operate in such an environment. There cannot be a generic basis for setting water
allocation. The challenge is to narrow the focus so that the network is able to come up with projects. At this
stage, the network is at an exploratory stage in order to determine how to proceed.

Mr Pienaar commented that when he had first been confronted with the concept of the beneficial water use
network, his initial response had been that since the National Water Act talks of 'efficient and beneficial use',
he could not understand why 'beneficial use' was being separated out. It is, however, essential to appreciate
that the proposed network operates within the context of a range of different networks, which interact with
one another. Mr Pienaar emphasised that Mr Ash Seetal (DWAF Manager: Water Allocation Planning) is
making an input to the proposed Beneficial Use of Water network through his role as a member of the
FETWater Executive Committee.

Mr McConkey referred to the aspect of the FETWater vision "to manage, in its widest meaning possible,
water resources in integrated way". He remarked that the networks were doing excellent work and producing
people with an understanding of the water environment and knowledge of allocation and water use with a
view to protecting water resources in a sustainable way. Mr McConkey was concerned about the type of
management that would prevail if the function of water resources management were assigned to CMAs in
the near future, and suggested that there might be a need to train people to actually manage water
resources. He commented that management takes place, for example, where a farmer pumps water out of
the system, or effluent is returned to the system. Licences can be put in place, following Reserve
determination methodologies, but the water resource can only be managed by people actively involved and
on the spot. It seems that this aspect is being overlooked, and it will not be possible to manage the water
resource until the water users are being effectively managed. Mr McConkey wanted to know how FETWater
intended to deal with this aspect, since the management of water resources is part of the FETWater vision.
Having procedures is one thing, but putting them into practice is another, and the obstacles may simply be
lack of capacity.

Ms Wentzel responded that she shares Mr McConkey's concerns about CMAs needing training in managing
the water resource.

Mr Grobler responded that FETWater had begun, in its first phase, by addressing the water environment
management (WEM) aspects. He suggested that FETWater should indicate the types of networks that they
would consider during the second phase. Ms Wentzel responded that the focus of the second phase would
be integrated water resources management, and any proposals for networks would be evaluated in that


Dr MacKay began her presentation with an anecdote. The foundations of RDM were laid in 1992, when Dr
MacKay had been part of a team at DWAF, working with Henk van Vliet on the Water Quality Guidelines for
Aquatic Ecosystems, which were the first DWAF policy statements on the protection of aquatic ecosystems.
By the middle of 1996, the team was involved in writing policy options for the White Paper on the Protection
of Water Resources. The then Deputy Director-General had invited Dr MacKay to brief him on the work of
the team. The presentation had not focused on technical issues but on the three themes of sustainability,
equity and public trust. At the end of the presentation, the Deputy Director-General had pointed out that Dr
MacKay was young and idealistic, while he was old and experienced, and had voiced the opinion that what
the team was proposing would not work. Dr MacKay remarked that it was gratifying to consider from time to
time at a gathering such as the present one that the ideas that had been proposed at that time were actually
being put into practice and made to work.

The purpose of the presentation was to review the water policy process in South Africa over the last decade,
to evaluate the process of development and to draw some lessons from it. Dr MacKay was presenting the
paper on behalf of the authors of the report (Professor Christo de Coning and Tamsyn Sherwill). The
presentation was not specifically about RDM, although RDM, and the associated principles and issues, is
embedded in the policy formulation process as a whole. Henk van Vliet had stated in 1996 that he believed
that it would take 25 years for the vision expounded in the 1997 White Paper to reach maturity. It would thus
be necessary to have patience to see it through the very difficult early stages. The presentation was an
outsider's evaluation of the policy process. Lessons can be learnt on managing large national policy
initiatives that can be taken forward to the implementation of programmes such as the RDM, water allocation
and CMA processes.

The review emanated from WRC project K5/1295 (Consolidation and transfer of knowledge and experience
gained in the South African water policy process) by Christo de Coning and Tamsyn Sherwill.

One of the reasons for the project was the unique opportunity there had been in South Africa to go through a
whole sectoral reform process. It is not often in one's career that there is the opportunity to see such an
initiative through from conceptualisation to implementation. A core of people had been drawn together and
capacity had been built to manage and develop policy at a strategic level, but this capacity was fast being
eroded as people moved on. It was felt that it was imperative to capture the learning that had taken place
while it was still accessible.

The objectives of the project were to:
 Capture and consolidate the knowledge and experience gained
 Provide guidance on public policy management for future water sector leaders
 Develop capacity building guidelines for developing and maintaining strategic policy expertise.

The approach entailed:
 Recording the experiences of key role players (including personal experiences as well as technical
   aspects, and interviewees tended to be very open)
 Formal case history and evaluation of the process
 Series of issues papers (two of which have already been published in Water SA)
 Professional seminar programme on public policy in the water sector (which is planned to become an
   annual event, with the next one scheduled for March 2005)

   Consolidated report (which will be published in the next few months, and will include all the reports and
    papers, as well as further thinking, particularly on capacity building aspects).

The core team involved in the project comprised: Dirk Roux, Heather MacKay, Christo de Coning (who at
the time of the project was a professor in the School of Public and Development Management at the
University of the Witwatersrand, and had since moved to a similar position at the University of the Western
Cape), Tamsyn Sherwill and Liesl Hill, but many other people had been involved.

Professor de Coning had been asked to develop a formal case history and evaluation process. For technical
people to be exposed to the fact that there is a whole field of scholarship on public policy management was
quite a revelation. Technical people in the public service are seldom exposed to how public policy is
developed and how the public sector operates until they reach managerial level. Had the technical team had
this insight from the start, they would have been better able to place their role in context. The intersection of
the technical team's knowledge of policy content and Professor de Coning's knowledge on policy process
was very valuable.

Generic public policy management takes the following form:
 Policy is a 'statement of intent' (what society is going to do).
 Policy is derived from and interprets the values of society in relation to a particular issue or group of
   issues (it is not meant to reflect the opinion or particular point of view of an individual or group within
 Policy management covers the whole cycle of development, analysis, implementation, evaluation and
   review (which signals the initiation of a new policy cycle). Coherence is visible only when the whole
   cycle is taken into consideration.
 There are two broad groups of policy models:
       o Models for analysis of policy content (including the implications of the policy in terms of
            economic and environmental considerations, for example)
       o Models for an analysis of the policy process (was it sound, legitimate, did it have a mandate and
            credibility, was it representative?).

The evaluation was not on the content on the 1997 White Paper, but only on the process, which had not
previously received priority in water policy development.

The generic policy process model (Figure 1) was based on international experience, but was greatly
improved by post-colonial African scholarship on policy development, which is strong on participation and
representivity in the policy development phase.

In the water sector case history, policy development followed the following process:
 Policy initiation (1994–1996), which is essentially deciding to decide. Kader Asmal (Minister of Water
     Affairs and Forestry) had issued a press release stating the intention to reform the water sector, based
     on a new water act that would take a completely new approach to water. Policy initiation is not meant to
     be an ad hoc or capricious process, and in South Africa this came about because old polices were no
     longer in line with the country's new constitution, which thus became the trigger for the policy review
     process. In other cases, a policy review might be initiated in response to factors such as climate change,
     which could significantly impact the distribution and availability of water, or significant institutional
     reform, such as the formation of a public water utility. It is understood from the outset that policy review
     is a long-term process (approximately 20 years).
 Policy design objective setting (1996), including issue filtration to establish what to put on the agenda
     (i.e. deciding how to decide), deciding who to involve as stakeholders and how they will be involved.
     Hard lessons have been learnt about reaching the end of consultative processes, only to find that there
     is a group of stakeholders that calls the legitimacy of the outcome in question because they were not
     consulted. In South Africa, this phase entailed the formulation of the Water Law Principles, which were
     tested extensively among stakeholders.
 Formulation and analysis of policy options (1996–1997). This is traditionally where the academic sector
     makes the most significant input. South Africa could do better in this respect, through more active and
     robust academic input to public policy-making. It entails policy impact assessment in social, economic,
     environmental and political terms. The water sector is not strong in this regard. In drawing up options for
     the White Paper, analysis was generally qualitative and intuitive, and there was no exhaustive and
     detailed analysis of the various options, particularly the resource protection measures. This did not

    appear as a problem at the time, but is proving problematic now at the stage of implementation, as gaps
    in understanding are starting to emerge.
   Formulation of policy proposals (usually a Green Paper stage). There is public debate and debate in
    parliament on these proposals. This should lead to a policy decision, which would generally be taken by
    parliament and be given legitimacy by a broad consultative process.
   Policy dialogue. This entails communicating the decision and the principles, and how they will be
    implemented. Once the proposed resource protection measures had been written up in the form of the
    White Paper (an executive policy), the focus shifted to implementation measures, and there was
    insufficient time spent on dialogue. DWAF is now having to communicate to stakeholders, who should
    have been taken along with the process and understood the implications from the start. This underlines
    the importance of not skimping on the communication and public relations budgets.
   Statutory phase (1997–1998). This may happen before or in parallel with the policy dialogue phase. In
    the case of the reform of the South African water sector, this phase entailed the drafting of the National
    Water Act and its promulgation in 1998.
   Implementation planning (1998–2003). This tends to take place in an iterative manner. The National
    Water Resource Strategy is the blueprint for implementation.
   Policy implementation (2003 onwards). Development of operational policies and strategies, as opposed
    to the national policy.
   Critical policy evaluation. A measured, considered evaluation of both the policy process and the impact
    should be incorporated into the process. If evaluation is done on an ad hoc basis, ad hoc changes to
    policy are likely to be the result, for instance, in response to political pressure. The other danger is to
    ignore evaluation altogether, and allow the policy to continue to operate well after it has become
    outdated, as was the case with the Water Act of 1956.

                                 Figure 1: Generic policy process model

The following can be noted with respect to a general evaluation of the South African water policy process:
 It was largely unplanned and intuitive.
 Nevertheless, it was 'a logical, participative, legitimate and sound process'. The technical content of the
   White Paper on Water Policy is superb, and is recognised as such in international circles.
 There was very strong and broad consultation, except for the White Paper stage. Less consultation took
   place at that stage, as there had been very broad consultation on the Water Law Principles and the
   National Water Bill. A significant oversight, however, was that the White Paper was not debated in
   parliament, as there was a rush to get it passed.

   The legal drafting process dominated, which may have been to the detriment of the technical process.
    Eventually, however, there was good interaction between the legal drafting team and most of the
    technical teams.
   There was insufficient quantitative analysis of policy options and implications (particularly as regards
   Insufficient cross-sectoral policy mapping occurred, for instance, to examine the impact of water policy
    on transport, trade and housing policies.
   The integration of the various technical aspects of the policy was weak at the analysis stage (for
    instance between allocation, finances and tariffs, and institutional arrangements, leading to fragmented
    and haphazard implementation plans. There were attempts at integration, but this proved difficult
    because most of the people working on drafting the policy were not engaged in the task full time.
   There was a long period of implementation planning, possibly leading to frustration over delays in
    delivery. There is a trade-off in this respect. The more time spent in planning, the fewer problems there
    will be at the implementation stage. The alternative is to spend less time in planning the implementation
    and to adapt and adjust as the process continues. Each approach has its advantages and
   There are weak provisions (if any) for monitoring and evaluation of policy, including the achievement of
    policy objectives (such as equity, sustainability and improved quality of life, as well as progress in
    implementation. Solid measurement criteria are required.

The following concluding remarks can be made:
 Consideration should be given to the need for meta-policy (policy on policy) in the water sector, to
   ensure consistency and stability among the many groups involved in designing policy at national,
   executive and operational levels.
 Proper planning, resourcing and leadership of large policy programmes are essential.
 Macro-process should be designed and the understanding should be shared in order to improve
   collaboration between all parties in the sector, including academics, government, non-government
   organisations, specialist consultants and advocacy practitioners.
 Institutional and management capacity will remain a critical limiting factor.
 The value of charismatic individual leaders should be recognised. Quantum changes are generally the
   result of the influence of a single charismatic leader.
 A core of strategic policy expertise (including policy implementation and evaluation) should be
   maintained in the country, whether located in a government department, the academic sector or an
   independent institute, to ensure that the capacity built up between 1994 and 1999 is not lost.
 The potential value of the academic and research sectors in the generation and analysis of policy
   options must be recognised.
 We are (still) at the end of the beginning of the 25-year vision. This is also true of FETWater. The
   progress made with FETWater in its short existence is very encouraging, but it should be borne in mind
   that there is still much to be done to bring the vision to fruition in the hands of a new generation.

PERSPECTIVE (Ms Toni Belcher, DWAF Western Cape)

The presentation focuses on the experience of the Western Cape in the implementation of the national water
sector policy. Following the RDM introductory training, the Western Cape DWAF office hosted a workshop
for a second day, to investigate the issues that regional offices are experiencing in implementing RDM.

The regional offices experience considerable frustration with the administrative aspects of RDM. Licensing
processes are lengthy, especially given the number of people that are required to make an input.
Determining the Reserve is one of the first steps in water use allocation. The RDM procedures for water
allocation applications where a wetland is involved are not always clear. The concurrent development of the
RDM procedures, together with implementation, has been another source of frustration and delay. The lack
of staff to deal with the new aspects of the policy in addition to dealing with aspects of the previous Water
Act underlines the fact that there was insufficient attention to resource implications and requirements.
Moreover, the policy requires expertise that has yet to be developed. The communication channels between
the regional offices and head office with respect to the new demands are also still being developed.

The regional offices are giving input to Reserve determinations, by virtue of their level of knowledge about
local rivers. One of the frustrations is determining the confidence level needed to make a decision on water
allocation, as well as the most suitable method to use. The confidence level is linked to the availability of
data, and there is a general dearth of data for most aspects of Reserve determination, especially on water
quality, as well as flow. As regards scale, it is not effective to issue a Reserve for each river reach for which
there may be a water use application. Reserves have thus generally been issued on a quaternary basis, but
this gives rise to complications in issuing a licence to a user at the top of the quaternary. It is not certain
when doing a Reserve determination how to take account of all the water resource components, including
both surface water and groundwater. If there is more than one water resource component in an assessment
linked to a licence application, it is not certain how the requirements should be integrated.

Most of the Reserve determinations that the Western Cape regional office has done to date have linked with
minor water resource developments. The National Water Act stipulates that a Reserve determination is
needed for all water use licences. Applicants complain about the need for a Reserve determination for
making changes to a river bank, for instance, since it does not affect water quality or quantity. There are
thus still unresolved questions on whether a Reserve determination is essential for each and every water
allocation. It is not clear exactly what the comprehensive information requirements are for Reserve
determinations, and what information the regional offices need to forward to head office for their
requirements. Any licence application has to be assessed in the light of the Reserve determination, and the
Reserve office finds itself having to do water balance investigations to determine water availability; however,
RDM staff do not consider this their responsibility. It is not clear where the decision-making lies with respect
to the many and varied aspects that have to be reconciled, including RDM considerations, socio-economic
aspects and beneficial use. As regards integrating the Reserve into licences, issues of compliance and
control have to be borne in mind. For instance, would one impose different conditions for a user at the top of
the catchment compared with users lower down (bearing in mind that staff capacity to monitor and enforce
compliance with the Reserve may be limited). Another issue is how annual and seasonal variations in flow
are expressed in a licence in implementable terms?

Technical issues related to major water resource developments include the fact that dams are often already
in place, but the structures for making environmental releases are not. Even where such structures are in
place, the staff that manage the dam may not have the knowledge to operate the dam so as to address the
Reserve requirements. Ensuring that the environmental releases occur at the right time requires expensive
monitoring and modelling. Compliance and control measures for dams that are already making
environmental releases are not yet in place.

Reserve monitoring is not being done to determine whether the Reserves that have been set are achieving
their objectives in terms of resource quality objectives. Moreover, there is no follow-up of whether the
required releases are in fact being made. Effectively, the only ecological monitoring programme already in
place is the River Health Programme, and consideration is being given to integrating this with Reserve
monitoring requirements for the purposes of screening, to determine whether the desired ecological state is
being met. This programme has the potential to be utilised in Reserve determinations, as well as in
monitoring the implementation thereafter, particularly for small-scale developments.

The Reserve determination process is operating in the absence of the water resource classification system,
which should ideally already have been in place and would have facilitated efforts to implement the Reserve.
The classification system:
 Should address the issues of scale, as it should be determined on a finer scale than most Reserve
    determinations to date
 Will provide a framework for water use management through the provision of rules and guidelines for
    each class. Examples of rules and guidelines include:
        o Section 21(a): Link to flow objectives and Reserve and method of abstraction
        o Section 21(b): In versus off-channel storage and % MAR storage (Reserve)
        o Section 21(c) and (i): Acceptable instream activities
        o Section 21(d): % resource unit under streamflow reduction activities; buffer strips
        o Section 21(f): Treatment technologies and wastewater discharge standards; water quality
 Will link schedule 1 use, general authorisations and licences
 Will encompass the Reserve in the resource quality objectives
 Will make provision for monitoring requirements
 Will balances ecological, social and economic values

   Will have public 'buy-in' as a result of extensive public participation processes.

Brown (presenter), Dana Grobler, Xolani Hadebe, Andrew Mavurayi, Janine Adams, Toni Belcher,
Laura Forster)

The presentation is based on a report that explores the issues more comprehensively.

During May and July 2004, members of the RDM network presented one-day courses based on the
Resource Directed Measures (RDM) Introductory Manual at DWAF regional offices in the following
provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Western Cape. It was
anticipated that the courses would serve to raise considerations and concerns from the regional offices
around related issues, and provision was therefore made for a follow-up session on the subsequent day to:
 Identify key issues and/or frustrations that the regional staff had in determining the Reserve and
    implementing RDM
 Suggest possible solutions to the problems being experienced.

The participants were invited to raise issues, but to view themselves as part of the solution. In a number of
cases, procedures have been introduced to address the issues, but the initiative may be very recent, or not
have gone far enough.

Issues, as well as suggested solutions, were raised on communication, licensing, capacity and resource
protection outside of the Reserve, as follows (including only issues raised by more than one region, and in
most cases, at least three regions):


 Poor communication, between regional staff, between regions and the national office, between different
    government departments and between the Department and the public
Suggested solution (Western Cape, Free State and Limpopo):
 Forum 1: regional inter-departmental forums
 Forum 2: catchment water users forums
 Forum 3: regional licensing committees
 In many cases, such forums had already been initiated but had collapsed.

 Poor communication between the regional offices and the RDM Directorate
 Suggested solutions
 Provide general guidelines on Reserves and information requirements
 Establish a database for the Reserves and communicate results
 Second RDM Directorate to the regions to promote mutual understanding


 Delays in processing of licence applications (which delays are wider than the RDM Directorate)
Suggested solution
 Append a tracking sheet to licence applications, which would serve as a management tool for identifying
    the points of delay, and would give staff in the regional offices an understanding of the process as a
    whole, and their role in it

Issue (primarily Northern Cape)
 Inconsistency in license policies in different regions, especially with respect to cross-border river
    systems, and the same client on the other side of the border getting different input from different regional
Suggested solution
 All licensing departments must adhere to a standard licensing procedure


 The need for proactive Reserve determinations
Suggested solutions
 Fast-track Reserve determinations
 Promote 'soon to be stressed' catchments up the priority list for compulsory licensing

 Inappropriate and 'unimplementable' scales used in assessment of the Reserve
Suggested solutions
 RDM should be set at a finer scale than the quaternary catchment; they should be set for management
    reaches within each resource to take into account ecological and licensing relevance

 Difficulties in translating Reserves into licence conditions
Suggested solutions
 Water quantity: Provide Reserve results as monthly allocatable volumes
 Water quality: Use general and minimum standards
 Groundwater: Produce a management plan, with allocatable volumes per response unit, based on a
    conceptual picture
 Include the requirements for such in consultants' terms of reference for comprehensive Reserve

 Incomplete terms of reference for consultants contracted to undertake Reserve determinations
Suggested solutions
 Ensure that terms of reference assist in bridging the gap between determination and implementation,
    which will require improvement between various section in DWAF

 The need for trade-offs
Suggested solutions
 Provide applicants with the spatial implications for discharging effluent, as it may be possible for them to
    move to a less sensitive area

 Lack of access to RDM-related data and information
Suggested solutions
 Ensure that RDM-related data are stored in an accessible manner and distributed regularly

 Difficulties in implementing compliance monitoring
Suggested solutions
 Set up compliance monitoring committees
 Develop a practical method for monitoring to ensure Reserves are being met
 Develop and implement agreed processes for compliance monitoring


 Poor understanding of Reserve determination procedures
Suggested solutions
 Give regional staff the opportunities to be involved in studies in their areas

 Poor understanding of the information requirements and filling in of forms for licence applications

Suggested solutions
 Provide practical training courses on filling in licence application forms and a check-list of information
   needed by the RDM Directorate

Resource protection outside of the Reserve

 Lack of slimes dams in exploration mining and their implications for the environment
 Cumulative impacts of mining exploration
 Additional resource protection for riparian areas
Suggested solutions
 Need advice from RDM office on how to deal with such issues
 Set aside reaches of river, where exploration will not be allowed
 Create a policy to define and specify implementation protection of riparian zones

In general, regional staff were supportive of RDM, but the following are needed:
 Improved and structured communications between head office and the regional offices, and between
    DWAF and other government departments
 Clear statements of policy and procedure
 Careful consideration of exceptions
 Reserve information at the appropriate temporal and spatial scale
 Feedback of Reserve information to the regions
 Water balances for key management units with the CMAs in the region
 More financial and human resources aimed at implementation and policy.


Mr Manyaka stressed that the presentation had highlighted a number of problems, but had also pointed out
that there are ways of resolving many of them.


The presentation emanates from a team of some 10 people. The presentation focuses on rivers, although
the group is moving towards freshwater biodiversity by broadening its scope to include wetlands, rivers and
estuaries. The presentation represents work in progress.

The project goal is to develop and test an operational policy and planning framework to assist water
resource planners in the systematic prioritisation of rivers for conservation purposes. The river conservation
projects comprises two phases:
 National developmental initiative (February 2003–March 2005)
 Eastern Cape sub-national pilot in the Fish-Tsitikamma water management area (August 2004–mid-
    2005), for testing national concepts at a level that is more relevant to implementation.

The key objectives of the project are to:
 Develop inter-departmental policy between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
   (DEAT) (as national custodians of biodiversity) and DWAF (as national custodians of water resources),
   including explicit and quantitative goals, in order to make the conservation of freshwater biodiversity
   operationally feasible
 Develop systematic biodiversity planning approaches (biodiversity planning and conservation planning
   are used interchangeably) in the freshwater environment. Such approaches have traditionally been
   developed in the terrestrial environment, and the team is attempting to align its philosophy and principles
   on freshwater ecosystems with the work that has been done on terrestrial ecosystems so as to move
   towards a more integrated approach to land and water biodiversity planning.

      Develop biodiversity plans and implementation strategies to facilitate the mainstreaming of river
       conservation at sub-national levels (water management areas) across South Africa.

Water policy is explicit about the need to conserve aquatic resources, and also recognises that trade-offs
are inevitable between utilisation and protection. The policy provides a classification system to balance
these (Table 1). Four classes exist, and with these classes come management and ecological guidelines,
such that natural and good classes will have ecosystems in a fairly intact state, with little human impact;
going down to classes C and D, which allow for more extensive utilisation.

Table 1: Classification system for aquatic resources
Class                           Ecological Perspective               Management Perspective

Natural/ Excellent                Negligible modification            Little human impact
Good                              Biodiversity / integrity largely   Some human-related
                                  intact                             disturbances
Fair                              Sensitive species may be lost      Multiple disturbances; high
                                                                     need for development
Poor                              Disrupted population dynamics      Extensive resource

The classification system provides a framework for assessing and managing aquatic resources in terms of a
selected 'ecological state'. The classification system approaches each river separately, and when the overall
picture at a regional or national scale is considered, there is no guideline or answer on whether these results
are acceptable or not. We need guidelines on how many rivers are needed in natural or good states, and
which rivers. This conservation planning initiative was set up to bridge this gap, and give context to this
classification system. The outputs will feed into Catchment Management Strategies, which are to be
developed for each Water Management Area.

What do we mean by 'biodiversity'

Biodiversity is an umbrella term for nature's variety and encompasses structural, compositional and
functional elements:
 Biodiversity pattern. This includes the structural and compositional elements, such as species, species
    assemblages and habitats.
 Biodiversity process. This includes the functional elements, such as succession and evolutionary
    processes, energy and nutrient cycling, and natural disturbance regimes.
 Biodiversity features. Elements of biodiversity pattern that can be mapped (for example, species, river
    reach type, spatial component of a process, such as an area that is important for migration or breeding).

What do we mean by 'systematic'

The underlying philosophy of conservation planning must be understood if the conservation of terrestrial and
water environments are to be integrated. Fundamental principles in this regard include:
 Representation: We want to conserve a sample of all biodiversity. We want to be as objective and as
   quantitative as possible, and be guided by expert review, rather than their gut feel of what is important.
   We want to systematically analyse and consider all rivers, not just the ones we know. (An analogy with
   Smarties is to strive to conserve all the colours, and not just the red ones.)
 Persistence: We want to be reasonably sure that this biodiversity persists in the long-term and therefore
   we need to conserve the biodiversity processes, in other words, the functional components that sustain
 Minimum requirements: The cornerstone of systematic biodiversity planning is that it is driven by
   quantitative targets in the form of measurable goals, which are explicit and to which resource managers
   can strive and against which they can measure progress.

Implementation principles

Implementation principles include:
 Efficiency: avoid duplication as far as possible through the employment of complementarity principles

   Flexibility: we try to map out options rather than be too restrictive, to allow assessment of trade-offs in
    the interests of equity
   Transparency: we have an explicit stepwise framework and minimum requirements; outputs are based
    on quantitative data combined with expert scientific knowledge, and this is all supported by stakeholder

The overarching result of these principles is that we develop products that are scientifically defensible, which
is important when examining this against competing resource uses.

Step-wise planning framework

This entails the following steps:
 Identify and involve key stakeholders, who will be involved in implanting the biodiversity plan.
    Workshops are designed as key milestones to get stakeholders to play an active role. Workshops
    provide an opportunity for reviewing the results of the last phase, making an input and devising the
    conceptual approach to the next phase of the planning process. They thus have a review as well as an
    advisory role (workshop 1).
 Because it is a spatial exercise, it is necessary to look at compiling base spatial data (workshop 2):
    biodiversity patterns and processes and current and future threats (workshop 3)
 Set quantitative targets and enter the design phase (the project has not yet reached this stage)
 Select and prioritise catchments (workshop 4)
 Interpret results for implementers, to facilitate their role.

                              Figure 2: Elements of the biodiversity pattern

Biodiversity has to be systematically mapped across the entire landscape:
 We focus on defining physical drivers of heterogeneity because understanding river heterogeneity is key
    to understanding the distribution of biota in space and time.
 When we look at the distribution of river biota, we inevitably need to integrate geomorphological,
    hydrological and ecological aspects (Figure 2).

   To be able to integrate these considerations, we need to define a common scale and then attach
    appropriate descriptors. For example, for conservation planning at a national scale, we may choose to
    look at the broadest levels of organisation, such as the geomorphic province and whether the stream
    has water or not (occurrence), whereas when it comes to planning for a river reach, we would probably
    need to take into account channel type.
   Based on the idea that we have hierarchical levels of organisation and that different levels of
    organisation are required to answer management issues at different scales, our colleagues (Dollar et al.)
    have been developing a nested hierarchical framework to link geomorphology, hydrology, ecology and
    stream power to categorise the final river ecotype, which will go out for expert review.

Twenty-three geomorphic provinces have already been mapped. One of these will be divided into two, to
give a total of 24. Macro reaches are being mapped for the main rivers in the country. The hydrological index
is being used to classify rivers in terms of their flow variability. Rivers in areas with a hydrological index of
more than 50 are characteristic of semi-arid areas. More stable flows are found in rivers with a hydrological
index closer to 1. Stream power is being looked at as a criterion in terms of the ability of a flow event to
modify the landscape.

A quick rapid desktop assessment was done to test some of the concepts and to feed into the National
Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan under the auspices of DEAT. The results are largely of a conceptual
nature. At the broadest level, the 23 geomorphic provinces and eight hydrological indices were combined.
This gives 120 unique river signatures that have the same potential biodiversity pattern.

River heterogeneity signature types can be combined with river condition or integrity to establish the extent
of transformation and identify the threatened ecosystems. The present ecological status category was
compiled in 1998/99, which assessed the integrity of mainstem rivers per quaternary catchment according to
six classes (A–F). This were collapsed into three classes:
 A and B: intact
 C: rehabilitation potential
 D–F: transformed

As river integrity is eroded and habitat is lost in an ecosystem, its functioning is increasingly compromised,
leading eventually to the collapse of the ecosystem and to loss of species associated with that ecosystem.
The approach to identifying the conservation status of ecosystems is therefore based on the loss of integrity
and the subsequent loss of habitat in each ecosystem, relative to two thresholds: one for maintaining healthy
ecosystem functioning, and one for conserving the majority of species associated with the ecosystem,
 Least threatened river heterogeneity signatures have an intact length equal to 60% of their total length
 Vulnerable river heterogeneity signatures have an intact length equal to 40% of their total length
 Endangered river heterogeneity signatures have an intact length equal to their conservation target (in
    this case, 10% of their total length)
 Critically endangered river heterogeneity signatures have an intact length below their conservation
    target (in this case 10% of their total length).

The integrity of mainstem rivers cannot be accurately extrapolated to tributaries within the same quaternary
catchment. We need integrity data for the country that explicitly include the state of tributaries. Many of the
mainstem rivers in South Africa are critically endangered, which means that they have dropped below 10%
of their original length. The results show that tributaries can be very important for representing biodiversity
patterns. Moreover, mainstems are important in that they connect tributaries and are thus important in
maintaining processes. In management terms, it seems that it might be possible to compromise the
condition of mainstems to a C class, for example, and retain tributaries in more pristine condition.

Bearing in mind the problems with our integrity data, conservation status was only assessed for the
mainstems of rivers. The general picture is broad but probably correct. The conservation status of critically
endangered signatures may go down if we were able to include tributaries in our assessment (for example,
in the Eastern Cape). Thus, the map should be refined in the next National Biodiversity Strategy and Action
Plan iteration, and regional plans with access to better river health studies should also prove helpful in this

What this highlights is that:
 Tributaries can be extremely important for conserving biodiversity pattern, particularly in South Africa,
   where most of our mainstem rivers are heavily impacted.
 Mainstems are important for maintaining processes dependent on connectivity between tributaries (for
   example, migration).

The team is attempting to incorporate into the planning framework biodiversity processes that have not
necessarily been incorporated by the biodiversity patterns, for instance:
 The rivers that are selected have to be in an intact condition or capable of rehabilitation as functioning
 Maintaining the natural flow regime is an overriding process.
 Maintaining connectivity needs to be taken into account in the design phase.
 Nutrient recycling can be included through conserving the riparian zone.
 Processes that can be conserved by setting aside areas are called spatially fixed processes (for
   example, migration and refugia areas; mountain catchment areas).
 Processes that have an area component but need to be accomplished by design when selecting areas
   are termed spatially flexible processes (for example, connectivity, hydrological regime, nutrient cycling).
 All processes need to be maintained into the future (temporal component).

In scaling down to sub-national level, the following catchments are regarded as strategic:
 Fish-to-Tsitsikamma pilot study, where there is an opportunity to test synergies with the terrestrial
    conservation plan (STEP)
 Usutu to Mhlathuze, which offers the opportunity of exploring transboundary issues with Swaziland.
 Crocodile West/Marico, which can generate findings that will feed into the CMA establishment process,
    since the first CMA is to be established there.

Fish-to-Tsitsikamma pilot study

The Fish-to-Tsitsikamma pilot study has the following features:
 Signature refinements are being considered in terms of geomorphic zones and stream power.
 The inclusion of species (fine-filter) is being considered: fish, dragon-flies, and frogs.
 Attention must be given to the assessment of the integrity of mainstems versus tributaries.
 Appropriate methodology needs to consider time constraints of data-driven versus expert approaches.
 Processes and design are more relevant at the sub-national scale.
 The pilot study includes estuaries.

Opportunities and challenges

The strengths and opportunities include:
 The South African policy environment in terms of biodiversity and water resource management is very
   receptive at present. Both DWAF and DEAT are committed to planning for biodiversity and developing
   interdepartmental policy.
 The approach being put forward by the team to define biodiversity patterns across the entire landscape
   is data-driven and repeatable, rather than being based purely on expert opinion.
 There are opportunities for integrated land and water management.

The challenges include:
 River integrity data for mainstems and tributaries
 Design, connectivity and target issues
 Development of a national water conservation plan.

A set of draft documents is available on the website, for comment, including:
 National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
 Towards a Common Understanding of Systematic Conservation Planning for Rivers.



When there is talk about the absence of a classification system, this refers to the legal status of the process.
Preliminary Reserve determination should be taken into account in developing the eventual classification
system. The approach needs to be both scientifically rigorous and legally defensible.

The project that Dr Evan Dollar will present has a long history within DWAF. Much work has already been
done towards developing the classification system, but a number of critical issues must be addressed in
order to understand the complexity, and this has been by means of a phased approach.

When the project started, there was realisation within DWAF that considerable work had already been done
towards the development of a classification system. It was necessary to identify what still needs to be done
to take the process forward in a constructive manner. There is a need for redress with respect to the socio-
economic aspects, but the rules in this regard are not clear, nor is the contribution of DWAF in the interests
of sustainable development, given that its core business is to serve as the custodian of the national water
resource. The rules will have to take account of the balance between protection and development of the
resource, in a complementary manner, without contradictions.

The development of the classification system is largely unknown territory, comprising a number of tasks. The
complexity of the challenge needs to be understood. Initially, Mr Pienaar had aimed to develop the
classification system within a year, but had then considered first developing a draft classification system,
and later stipulated that what was needed first of all was a framework in which to work. There is a need to be
sure of the policy environment in which one is working. There is a need to give people guidance, not only on
what a classification system is, but also on how to implement it. It is imperative that any system be
implementable, enforceable and practical. The project had already gone through an inception phase and
was currently in its second phase. The project is involved both in the development of a system and in the
process of classifying the resource, and there are linkages between the two.

FRAMEWORK (E.S.J. Dollar (presenter), C.A. Brown, C.C. Colvin, D. Grobler, S. Manyaka, L. Molefe,
A. Pott, J.T. Turpie & A.R. Turton)


The title recognises the complexities of delivering a classification system and distinguishing between a
classification system and a classification process, and how chapter 3 of the National Water Act is

The inception phase of the project entailed literature reviews and interviews. The team is now engaged in
designing the approach for developing the classification system. Decisions will be taken in conjunction with
stakeholders and DWAF, bearing in mind the importance of dialogue in policy-making. The presentation
highlights potential limitations and gaps. The outcome of the current phase will be an inception report, which
will detail what needs to be done to deliver a classification system. The team involves a diverse group,
incorporating ecologists, resource economists and public involvement practitioners.

Sustainable development requires balancing the need for economic development and protecting the delivery
of goods and services necessary for economic growth. This requires viewing water as part of the broader
ecosystem (which reflects the Water Law Principles), rather than as a commodity. The ecosystem provides
goods and services. Continued provision thereof relies on sustaining natural hydrological, ecological and
biological functions and processes. This requires maintaining some degree of the natural structure and
function of aquatic ecosystems.

DWAF is custodian of the nation's water resources and therefore needs to protect the water resource to
sustain long-term utilisation. This requires protection of the resource as an ecosystem.

Rationale for project

The National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998) requires that all water resources be classified in such a way that
they are maintained in a minimum state of health. The classification system is required to maintain the
ecological sustainability of water resources and to ensure that basic needs are met.

Classification requires choosing a level of protection between minimum and complete protection. The class
will therefore affect both ecosystem health and the amount of economic activity that relies on the water
resource. A means of evaluating the value of the goods and services that rely on any particular water
resource is required, as well as a tool for considering the trade-offs of choosing a particular class for a
certain water resource.

Legal basis for the classification system

Sustainable development is enshrined in the Constitution, Protection of water resources through the Water
Law Principles (1996) and National Water Policy (1997). The National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998) gives
effect to this.

Chapter 3 of the NWA makes provision for:
 The development of a system for classifying water resources (i.e. the classification system) (Clause 12)d
 Utilisation of the classification system to determine the class and resource quality objectives (RQOs) to
   achieve a balance between protecting and sustaining water resources and utilising them (Clause 13).

DWAF's slogan, 'Some, for all, forever', is based on the principle of sustainable development, taking into
account the balance between economic development, social equity and ecological sustainability.

Classification terminology

A 'classification system' is a system for classifying water resources that establishes the guidelines (Table 2)
and procedures for determining different classes of water resource.

A 'classification process' is the process of utilising the classification system to determine the class and the
resource quality objectives in order to achieve a balance between protection and utilisation.

Table 2: Guidelines for determining different classes of water resource

Descriptors                          State 1                               State n …
Geomorphology/hydraulics      e.g.   e.g. full natural diversity           e.g. >70% diversity loss, >70%
habitat diversity, pool depth                                              loss in depth
Water quality e.g. mean monthly      e.g. natural, natural                 e.g. <6º, <2 pH units
temperature, pH, annual range
Vegetation e.g zone definition,      e.g. all present and distinct, full   e.g. no definition, >80% exotics
species composition                  complement                            etc.
Fish e.g. community composition      e.g. full complement of indigenous    e.g. very few, fish dominated by
                                     species in natural proportions, no    exotic species
                                     exotic species

Procedures for establishing the class of a resource

    Figure 3 reflects early work on establishing the class of resource, which the team is no longer following
                                Present Ecological Status

                    1.2              Set desired                             Define
                            Ecological Management Class             Non-allocatable water
                                                                        (International,                   Describe
                          1.3       Set RQOs for the                      Future use,                Water Use Scenarios
                                         EMC                         Interbasin transfers)            (agric, urban etc)

                                                        4        Develop alternative scenarios

                                                                Evaluate alternative scenarios
                                                        5               (e.g. MCDA)
                                                                With stakeholder participation

                                                        6         Minister’s decision on class
                                                             (stakeholder preferences considered
                                                                  in light of national interest)

                                                                 Determination of the reserve;
                                                                  Selection of use scenario

                                                        8           Set RQOs for that class

                                                             Decide strategies for achieving RQO’s
                                                        9            (Integrate RQOs into
                                                                Water Allocation Planning and
                                                               Catchment Management Strategy
                                    Establish CMAs
                                                                     Implement strategy:
                                                        10               Licencing,
                                                                       Restoration etc.

                                                        11                 Monitor

                          Figure 3: Procedures for establishing the class of a resource

Classification system design

If the outcome of the classification process is the class of the resource and RQOs, then the classification
system needs to be designed to deliver on the required classification process outcome.

Objectives of the study

    To provide a set of nationally consistent rules to help guide decision-making about the class of water
    To help define an appropriate national balance for the protection of water resources as a whole
    To deliver a classification system for the water resources of South Africa
    To develop procedures for determining the ecological category of a resource for input into the integrated
     classification system
    To develop a procedure for determining the socio-economic implications of choosing a resource class
    To develop an appropriate public involvement process.

Phased approach

Given the complexity of the task, a phased approach is proposed:
 Phase 1: Inception phase.

   Phase 2:    Project initiation, planning and design.
   Phase 3:    Design, development, delivery and gazetting of the Classification System

Multidisciplinary, integrated approach

A multidisciplinary, integrated approach includes ecological, groundwater, resource economics, social,
political and decision-analysis components:

The ecological component is:
 Based on ecosystems approach
 Accounts for upstream-downstream linkages and interlinkages
 Allows for evaluation of scenarios
 Incorporates existing data, concepts, models and tools (for example, Ecostatus, Ecoregions, River
   Conservation Planning, resource directed water quality management)
 Links aquatic ecosystem condition with socio-economic consequences
 Valued features of resource must be defined as part of the catchment description.

The groundwater component is linked to groundwater classification and integration of groundwater and
surface water components.

The following considerations relate to the resource economics component:
 Ecosystem health needs to be translated into the level of delivery of goods and services that have
   economic relevance
 The ecological component is required for delivering information for the resource economics component.
 Methods must be developed for describing aggregate levels of delivery of ecosystem goods and
 Valuation methods and a model framework must be developed for predicting changes in economic value
   as a result of changes in goods and services.

In terms of the social component, it is necessary to:
 Define the social impacts of different scenarios
 Develop an approach to link with the resource economic component.

The political component entails achieving 'buy-in' from relevant stakeholders.

In terms of the decision-analysis component, it is necessary to develop a multicriteria decision analysis
(MCDA) approach to achieve a balance that is appropriate for stakeholders and decision-makers, and to
deal with different stakeholders at different scales.

Component integration will be achieved through a risk-based and MCDA-based approach.

Two cross-cutting components will also be part of the project:
 Development of institutional relationships and processes
 Public involvement process to ensure transparency and involvement of all stakeholders in characterising
   and prioritising risks, consequences and values for both the classification system and the classification

The outline of the classification procedure is as shown in Figure 4.

                             Figure 4: Outline of the classification procedure

The project team is writing a straw dog on how it intends to deliver the classification system. This document
will be subjected to a long process of stakeholder involvement and comment.


Dr Cornelius Ruiters raised the following issues:
 The classification system will have to look at real economic issues in terms of development, as well as
    the sustainability of the resource. The project does not seem to address these issues.
 What is the latitude of movement from one class to the next in terms of utilisation of the resource? Is it
    possible for the system to make provision for the downgrading of a class for purposes of development?
    These issues are being debated within DWAF.

Dr Dollar responded that both the issues had been discussed extensively in the project. The class
boundaries would be part of the ecological component of the classification system. The issue of the
economic consequences of choosing a particular class of resource is complex. The team had grappled with
establishing the project boundaries in terms of the economic issues.

Mr van Rooyen agreed with Dr Ruiters that economics should be part of the classification process, so that
the economic issues were factored in at the point of making a recommendation to the Minister on the river
class. However, economic issues related essentially more to the water allocation process, involving
stakeholders, than to the classification system.

Dr Dollar responded that that was the position the project team had reached. The team wished to stress that
whatever it delivers in terms of valuation of the goods and services for a particular class must match the
macro-economic models that DWAF devises for considering the economic implications of the class of
resource. There is still a need for the possibility of integration of the outcome of the classification system.

With respect to the composition of the steering committee, Ms Zokufa commented on the issue of involving
previously disadvantaged people with a view to capacity building and skills transfer. Previously

disadvantaged people did not seem to be involved in the Steering Committee, however. She asked how the
project team would take that issue into account in involving people from outside DWAF on the Steering

Dr Dollar responded that the Steering Committee had not yet been formally constituted, for the very reasons
that Ms Zokufa was raising. Suitable people were being identified, and Ms Zokufa's concerns would be taken
into account. The second part of the phase would entail considerable capacity building and training.

Ms Zokufa responded that it might be better to bring people in at the beginning so they can grow with the
project. She also asked whether the project team had thought of linking class with land use or land-based
activities, so as to give expression to a multidisciplinary approach and link with socio-economic

Dr Dollar responded that this is a requirement of the Act in terms of the classification system.

Mr van Niekerk commented that, in practice, when going through the classification process, the implications
of each class would have to be considered in making a choice. There should thus be sufficient gap in the
distinction between the various levels, but the gap should also not be too wide, or it would limit the number
of options. He asked how the project team was grappling with this.

Dr Dollar responded that the team was looking at these issues and would be considering the boundaries and
categories. There was a need to expand the definitions of the categories and try to come up with a method.

Mr Wentzel expanded upon what Mr van Niekerk had said and suggested that if different scenarios are to be
presented to stakeholders, this should perhaps be in terms of the implied resource quality objectives. He
noted that in the classification process, the intended output would be a class as well as resource quality
objectives. He wanted to know whether this was the literal meaning. In the event of putting three scenarios
before stakeholders, for example, Mr Wentzel wanted to know how the implications of the various class
choices would be explained other than with reference to the resource quality objectives.

Dr Dollar replied that the outcome of the classification process would be a decision on the class of a
resource. The implications of choosing a particular class of resource would have to be built into the various

Mr van Rooyen added that the selection of a class has implications for allocatable water. For most users,
this would be the most important consideration For instance, if class B were selected for a particular
resource, this would mean that there would be only 10 units available for allocation. However, if class D
were selected, there would be 100 units available for allocation. This would have significant economic
implications for the region. Resource quality objectives are thus not the only consideration.

Dr Dollar responded that the implications of the choice of model would have to go into a planning model or a
yield model.

Kleynhans, DWAF)

Meaning of 'Ecostatus' and what it can be used for

In some of the more recent comprehensive Reserve determinations, the situation has arisen that, for
example, the fish would be in a present ecological state of C, the invertebrates in B, the geomorphology in
B, and so on. There is a need to combine these various scores into a single Ecostatus score in an integrated
way for the whole river. The idea is to do this in a structured and repeatable way.

This relates to the questions that we want to answer: In what condition is the river? Where did it go wrong?
Ecostatus is also used as the basis for setting ecological resource quality objectives.

Conceptual attributes that would comprise ecosystem health (i.e. if this is present the system would be
healthy)(Costanza 1992) include:

   Homeostasis (tendency of biological systems to maintain a state of equilibrium)
   Absence of disease
   Diversity or complexity
   Stability or resilience
   Vigour or scope for growth
   Balance between system components.

However, these attributes are obviously very wide, vague and somewhat philosophical. More useful in this
respect is the sequence for ecosystem health assessment of Shaeffer et al. (1988):
 Identify symptoms
 Identify and measure signs
 Make provisional diagnosis
 Conduct tests to verify the diagnosis
 Make a prognosis
 Prescribe treatment.

The following Ecostatus definition is modified from Iversen et al. (2000): The ecological status of a river is
defined as the "totality of the features and characteristics of the river and its riparian areas that bear upon its
ability to support an appropriate natural flora and fauna". This ability relates directly to the capacity of the
system to provide a variety of goods and services. A river will have a natural, or close to natural, Ecostatus
under the following conditions:

   Hydro-morphology (geomorphology and hydrology): The quantity and dynamics of flow reflect almost
    undisturbed conditions. The continuity of the river allows undisturbed migration of aquatic organisms and
    sediment transport. Channel patterns, width and depth variations, flow velocities, substrate conditions
    and both the structure and condition of the riparian zones correspond almost to undisturbed conditions.

   Water quality: The values of the physico-chemical elements correspond almost to undisturbed
    conditions. Nutrient concentrations remain within the range normally associated with undisturbed
    conditions. Levels of salinity, pH, oxygen balance, acid neutralising capacity and temperature remain
    within the range normally associated with almost undisturbed conditions. Synthetic and non-synthetic
    pollutants are close to zero.

   Biology: The taxonomic composition and abundance of the riparian vegetation, phytoplankton,
    macrophytes, invertebrates and fish correspond nearly totally to the undisturbed conditions.

   Landscape processes and land use impact on habitat change and ultimately on biological responses.
    Assessing the biological response directly (for example, using a biological indicator) identifies where
    ecosystem functions have been impaired, and may suggest causes of impairment (Beechie et al. 2002).
    The River health programme, for instance, focuses on assessing the biological responses directly.

At a more detailed level, Figure 5 shows the impact of drivers (controls) on catchment processes, the effects
on habitat conditions and aquatic biota survival and fitness. Black boxes indicate controls not affected by
land use (adapted from Beechie and Bolton 1999).

                                  Figure 5: Biological fitness and survival

Physical habitat template responses

Components of each of the driver groups interact to determine the physical habitat template for various
biological groups such as:
 Fish
 Macro-invertebrates
 Riparian vegetation.

The habitat integrity for each of these biological groups is determined based on the condition of the physical
drivers. The purpose of analysing the biological responses is to provide an indication of the cause of river
health deterioration (i.e. whether it is flow, geomorphological or water quality related). Integration of the
results of the analyses can be done at various levels (i.e. drivers, habitat and biological, as well as overall),
where the end result is a multimetric index value that represents the overall health of a river. A weighting
system (e.g. MCDA) is used to proportion the importance of various river attributes based on the natural
characteristics of the type of river being investigated.

This rule-based approach provides a tool that can guide conclusions as to the nature of river integrity

It also guides decisions that form the basis of determining the desired state, setting goals to attain this and
assessing the results of monitoring programmes.

The drivers/primary determinants of water quality, hydrology and geomorphology are as follows:
 Water quality
   o pH
   o Salts
   o Nutrients
   o Temperature
   o Turbidity
   o Oxygen
 Hydrology
   o Low flows

    o Zero flow duration
    o Seasonality
    o Moderate events
    o Event hydrology (high flows, floods)
   Geomorphology
    o Event hydrology
    o Sediment input
    o Riparian vegetation (also operates as a biological response)
    o Instream channel structure (obstruction)
    o Bank channel structure (engineering).

Following from the sequence of ecosystem health determination proposed by Shaeffer, the Ecostatus
approach is used as follows in adaptive resource monitoring and management:
 Identify symptoms
 Identify and measure signs
 Make provisional diagnosis
 Conduct tests to verify the diagnosis
 Make a prognosis
 Prescribe treatment.

Based on the responses of the biological group, the principle would be that these responses could be linked
to a particular driver, group of drivers, specific component(s) or other biological factors. This will obviously
enhance the interpretation of biomonitoring endpoint results and will add considerable value to the
monitoring process.

The link and relationship between river health determination (for river health programme determinations) and
ecological reserve determination and monitoring is that river health determination is based primarily on the
responses of the biota (instream: fish and invertebrates; riparian: riparian vegetation). The causes of these
responses are only addressed in general terms through habitat integrity determination (instream and
riparian), and the causes for biotic responses are thus general, with a weak cause-and-effect relationship.

The River Health Programme is an established National Programme of DWAF developed by Resource
Quality Services. Biomonitoring is the basis of the programme.

Ecological Reserve determination and monitoring

For the determination of the Reserve (i.e. ecoclassification, which is the determination of the condition of the
river relative to the expected natural) and the monitoring of the Reserve in terms of monitoring compliance
(in terms of the resource quality objectives that have been set), the cause-and-effect relationship is
important. This means that the present condition of the drivers needs to be assessed and interpreted in
terms of the biological habitat and then the biological responses.

Ecostatus can be used for various levels of reserve determination (rapid, intermediate and comprehensive).
The detail of the Ecostatus assessment is likely to vary from the 'general' determination for rapid Reserve
purposes (possibly comparable to the River Health Programme approach), to the full Ecostatus
determination for comprehensive reserve determination.

Where a comprehensive (or even intermediate) Reserve determination and compulsory licensing is not a
priority within the foreseeable future, it can be envisaged that an Ecostatus assessment more detailed than
the River Health Programme assessment, as for 'typical' state of rivers purposes, would be followed. This
would allow a basis for formulating resource quality objectives that can be used in an ecological monitoring
programme (determination of trends, etc.) with an emphasis on biomonitoring and resource management.
Ecological reserve monitoring is likely to become a National Programme of DWAF.

Additional use of the Ecostatus approach will be in terms of determining river condition/integrity for
systematic river conservation purposes. Depending on the availability of information and knowledge on the
river, the approach for this purpose may vary between the more typical River Health Programme type
procedure and the typical full suite of Ecostatus determination (Figure 6). The approach has been used in a
number of recent comprehensive Reserve determinations, as well as in the River Health Programme.

 Figure 6: Ecostatus determination and monitoring as for ecological Reserve compliance purposes


Ms Nel remarked on the utility of having separate entities compared with an integrated index, but asked
whether, in the process, one did not lose much of the information. Her team was currently grappling with the
same issue in conservation planning.

Dr Kleynhans responded that if various metrics are integrated, the eventual index must not stand on its own.
The background should be available to inform on how it was constructed from the constituent components,
as well as to provide insight into the cause-and-effect relationships.

Ms Haigh enquired whether Dr Kleynhans had had discussions with people working on wetlands to devise a
similar process for wetlands. Dr Kleynhans responded that he had had discussions in this regard at the
WRC recently.

Hanlie Hattingh, Consultants' Project Manager, CSIR Environmentek (presenter))

The motivation for starting the project was that the licensing process is very source focused, and both
DWAF regional offices and head office were experiencing problems in operationalising RDM. The problem
aims to address that gap from a water quality perspective.

The two deliverables of the project to date are the Resource Directed Water Quality Management (RDWQM)
Policy and the first edition of the Management Instruments.

RDWQM Policy

The policy gives guidance for decision-making and action that helps set priorities. There are three reasons
why the policy is necessary:
 Demand and supply imbalance

   Complexity and uncertainty
   The balancing of principles.

The policy focuses on resource directed water quality management within the more general frameworks of
integrated water quality management, integrated water resource management, and, ultimately, integrated
environmental management. The RDWQM policy content is shown in Figure 7.

                                    Figure 7: RDWQM policy content

Management Instruments (first edition)

The team took a decision on which instruments to develop through an intensive two-day workshop session
with various DWAF head office and regional office representatives. The decision was based on which
instruments would streamline the licensing processes, with specific focus on resource directed measures.

The process started with the catchment vision and the catchment vision guidelines (Figure 8).

                                        Figure 8: Vision process

From resource water quality objectives (RWQO) to licence

Methods are provided for determining the following:
 Resource water quality objectives
 Resource stress level
 Allocatable resources
 Individual end-of-pipe standards.

To make the process easier to use, an automated Excel file with reference values is provided.

The Assessment of Considerations for Water Use Applications (ACWUA) considers all legal requirements,
takes account of uncertainty, produces a record of decision, provides for secure access and a database and
has a reporting facility. It can be used for establishing the probability that a licence will be issued.

WATER USE MANAGEMENT AND LICENSING (Dr Cornelius Ruiters, Chief Director: Water Use,


South Africa has limited water resources, which are unevenly distributed across the country and affected by
natural cycles of drought and floods. Responsibility for water resources management rests with DWAF,
which provides the policy and legislative framework. Current challenges to this role include delivery to the
poor, opportunities for economic growth and equitable redistribution of water resources.

Water use

The National Water Act (Act 36 OF 1998) regulates water use and makes water use transformation or
reform imperative. Initiatives in this regard include the National Water Resource Strategy and internal
strategic perspectives (ISPs)/catchment management strategies.

Water management institutions in water use authorisations

Chapter 4 is one of the most important (and probably one of the most complex) parts of the National Water
Act, and deals with:
 Water use (permissible)
 Quantification of water allocation
 Licences for underground water
 Transfer of water authorisations
 General authorisations and licences (individual and compulsory)
 Existing lawful water uses
 Verification (and validation) of existing water uses
 Stream flow reduction activities
 Controlled activities
 Water allocations
 Review and amendments of licences
 Suspension or withdrawal of entitlements to use water
 Surrender of licences.

In terms of the National Water Act, present water use is to be adjusted to achieve equity and sustainability.
The definition of water use in the Act is very broad. Section 21 defines 11 water uses, including abstraction,
storage, all aspects of discharge of wastes into water resources, changes to physical structure of rivers and
streams, and recreational use.

Water may be used in terms of:
 Schedule 1
 Existing lawful water use
 General authorisation (section 39)
 A licence (Section 27 criteria)
 Suspension with a licence requirement.

Important provisions relating to the authorisation of water use include:
 Existing lawful use
 Registration of use
 Stream flow reduction activities.

Controlled activities are regarded as:
 Irrigation of any land with waste or water containing waste generated through any industrial activity or by
   a waterwork
 An activity aimed at the modification of atmospheric precipitation
 A power generation activity that alters the flow regime of a water resource
 Intentional recharging of an aquifer with any waste or water containing waste
 An activity declared under Section 38 of the National Water Act.

Water use authorisation is concerned with:
 Individual licence applications
 Compulsory licence applications
 Trading and transfer of water use authorisations
 Monitoring, assessment and information
 An additional aspect is dam safety licensing (including mine slimes dams).

Resource protection and water use licensing

Protection of water resources entails the following:
 Classification of water resources
 Determination of the Reserve (according to various levels of determination), taking into consideration the
    basic human needs Reserve and the ecological Reserve
 Establishing water quality requirements
 Determining water uses for instream and land-based activities

   Setting water resource class and resource quality objectives
   • Dealing with licence applications and issuing licences, which requires Reserve determination
    (preliminary) in terms of Section 27 of the National Water Act: This involves setting: (i) the class and
    resource quality objectives of the water resource; (ii) the quality of the water in the resource which may
    be required for the Reserve and for meeting international obligations.


   The National Water Act makes provision for allocation and authorisation (water use).
   The greatest challenge lies with the establishment and implementation of institutional arrangements
    (local water governance structures)
   Water quality impacts on water use implementation with respect to the Raw Water Pricing Strategy and
    the waste discharge charge system.
   Water use authorisation must meet the needs for equity and poverty alleviation and ensure the
    sustainability of water resources.


Ms Belcher stressed that before blaming the delays in issuing licences on the need for Reserve
determination, an audit should be conducted in the DWAF regional offices. An audit would show that it is not
the Reserve that is causing the problems.

Dr Ruiters responded that DWAF would be instituting a water use licensing audit the following week to
establish the real issues and find ways to make the process work. The fact that it could take up to three
years to issue a licence indicates that there are serious problems, which must be addressed by DWAF


The purpose of the presentation is to provide information on the status of the RDM methodology.


   There are plans to revise version 1 of the Rivers Reserve Manual. A number of tools have been
    developed or refined since 1999 and are being applied to river Reserve studies. However, they are not
    documented in an RDM manual. The DRIFT and habitat flow stressor response (HFSR) tools are being
    incorporated into the manual, allowing a choice of tool.
   The latest methods such as Ecostatus are being incorporated into the manual (see presentation by Dr
    Kleynhans). The latest developments in water quality are also being integrated into the manual. The
    draft manual will be available at the end of February 2005.

Rivers: Habitat Flow Stressor Response (HFSR)

The Ecoclassification and HFSR draft manual was produced in 2004 and is available to specialists
undertaking Reserve studies. HFSR was developed as a tool to guide the evaluation of the ecological
consequences of modified low flow regimes, based on the principles of ecological risk analysis using an
index of flow-related stress. HFSR was designed for use within holistic methods such as the building block
methodology (BBM) and DRIFT as a way of consistently capturing specialist knowledge on the relationship
between flow, hydraulic parameters, habitat response and the responses of instream biota.


Version 2 of the estuarine methods is available on CD from the DWAF RDM Directorate. This updated
version contains the learning gained from a number of Reserve determinations conducted at various levels.
It is based on the refined eight-step RDM procedure and is scenario based. Levels range from rapid,
intermediate to comprehensive. No desktop level is included.


A revised version of the 1999 manual was recently produced and is available from the RDM Directorate. The
revision was based on a number of research projects that had been undertaken since 1999 and the Reserve
determinations conducted since then, which offered much learning and development in this field. The field is
still developing, and new ideas are bound to come up, but for the time being, these are the methods to be
applied. Software to conduct the determination is also being produced.


The process of developing wetland Reserve methodologies as a revision of the 1999 methods was recently
initiated. The 1999 methods were focused on one particular type of wetland. The approach now is to try and
find a generic method, modified as required. The process is in the very early stages, involving initial
discussions with wetland experts. Currently a large number of research projects are under way that can
support the wetland method development. The projects are mostly in conjunction with the WRC. The RDM
Directorate intends to liaise closely with these projects.

Water quality

Updated methods for the water quality aspects for ecological Reserve assessments were developed in July
2003. These were posted on the SPATSIM web page for discussion and review and now appear in Palmer,
Berold & Muller: Environmental Water Quality in Water Resources Management Draft 15. WRC report no.
TT217/03 (in prep). During July 2003, the need for a conductivity method was identified. The conductivity
method was developed during 2004 and is currently under review.

Public participation

A document entitled Guide to Public Participation for Determining the Class of a Water Resource, Resource
Quality Objectives for Comprehensive Reserve Determinations was approved by the Water Resource
Functional Management Committee at the end September 2004. The document does not obviate the need
for a holistic, integrated public participation process on integrated water resource management in DWAF. It
is merely an interim measure (for the next three years) to ensure public participation for determining the
class and resource quality objectives in water resources that are on a critical path for licensing and cannot
wait for an integrated process.

The focus of the document is to:
 Define public participation and the context of the process
 Explain how to tailor-make public participation to catchment circumstances
 Provide an outline of a generic, step-wise public participation process that should be adapted to
   catchment needs and circumstances
 Show how public participation should integrate with the technical assessment process
 Show how public participation should deal with high public sensitivity
 Provide an assessment of the time, resources and budget required for the public participation process
 Indicate how to evaluate the success of the public participation process and modify it if necessary.


Mr Harrison added that the DWAF RDM Directorate had had discussion with the WRC on how to take RDM
forward in terms of quality. A conference was soon to be held, jointly organised by DWAF and the WRC, to
discuss RDM version 2. The RDM Directorate is concerned with how to operationalise the 1999 version, with
its various updates. Delana Louw had produced a draft report to the WRC on the basis of that review.


Overview of RDM

The National Water Policy affords the Reserve a special status:
 The Reserve (including both ecological and human need) is a right as opposed to being a user.

   Water is not allocated to the Reserve. The aquatic ecosystems and processes are acknowledged as the
   Users are supplied from the resource after the resource requirements (the Reserve) have been met.

Problem statement

The cluster workshops with the DWAF regional offices revealed the perception that the current Reserve
determination process is blamed for delays in licence considerations for the following reasons:
 All licences (in terms of Section 21 water use) are subject to preliminary determination of the Reserve.
 Time to market is important in investment decisions (and in this regard, the turn-around time for licence
    applications is too long to be acceptable to industry.
 There are no guidelines as to when, or when not, to go through the full Reserve determination process.

Objectives of the assignment

The overall objective is to improve the livelihoods and reduce poverty by increasing security of access to
sustainably managed water and forestry. The primary focus of the RDM component is to develop processes
for integrating RDM into the water use allocation process and to investigate the institutional arrangements
for coordinating the roll-out of the Reserve determination process.

Key issues

   There is a lack of a framework on the process and mechanisms for dealing with competition between
    resource protection and utilisation.
   Approaches to resource protection (RDM) are being developed in isolation of the implications of water
    availability on utilisation.
   Economic efficiency, equity (political) and socio-economic objectives in resource utilisation are not
    generally considered in the Reserve determination process.
   The implications are a lack of balance between resource protection and utilisation (which is not
    sustainable in the long term).

Key tasks and outputs

The project comprises the following four key deliverables:

Task 1: Assess the current status of RDM
 Document the original intent and purpose of RDM
 Identify gaps in the current RDM methods
 Make policy recommendations on RDM and how it can be integrated into water use allocation planning.

Task 2: Approaches to integrate Reserve determination process and category in water use allocation
process (WAP)
 Workshops with toolkit team to align the processes. As part of this aspect, an expert panel was set up to
   test the findings. Workshops with the 'wise ones' also took place to test the practicality of the thinking.
 Development of integrated processes for licence applications.

Task 3: Stakeholder participation
 Recommendations on streamlining the stakeholder participation programme for the RDM and water use
   allocation process. The level of stakeholder participation for each of the various levels of Reserve
   determination needs to be considered.

Task 4: Institutional requirements for roll-out of RDM determinations and water use licensing
 Institutional framework for roll-out of the integrated process.

Mr Harrison Pienaar of the DWAF RDM Directorate is the chairperson of the project management committee
of the project. There has thus been considerable interaction between the project and the directorate, and the
findings have been fed back to the DWAF RDM Directorate.

Possible approach to integrating RDM into water use allocation planning

The project team reviewed the RDM eight-step process, based on the Thukela Reserve determination,
which goes some way to integrating RDM and water use allocation planning. Four levels of Reserve
determination have been well developed, each with its own method. However, tools have not been fully
developed for RDM to take cognisance of the different levels of Reserve determination. Issues such as
whether it is necessary to use a scenario-based approach for rapid or intermediate Reserve determinations
need to be addressed. The team looked into revising the process to take into account the integration of the
Reserve determination process with overall water resource management. The team picked up that yield
modelling is not regarded as part of RDM. This has implications for resource protection in terms of water
availability when economic use, equity objectives and poverty eradication are taken into account.

Issues to be taken into account in an integrated approach

There is limited use of a scenario-based approach in rapid and intermediate Reserve determinations. There
are no processes and mechanisms for trade-off to ensure minimum ecological damage while maximising
resource utilisation for socio-economic objectives. This was the departure point for the project team to
develop a streaming diagram as the basis for the objective function of integrating RDM with resource

The team took the role of environmental economics into account. The team believed that in the process,
there is a need to have some idea of the ecological assets and services provided by the river water. A
valuation of that nature elicits measures of human preferences for or against changes in ecological
ecosystem functioning. The tools for valuation are not well developed, however, especially in terms of non-
direct use values.

Progress to date

   The streaming diagram has been jointly developed with the water allocation team.
   The Reserve determination process has been incorporated into the process flow for interim licensing.
   The process flow for different levels of Reserve determination (the desktop method and the rapid,
    intermediate and comprehensive Reserve determinations) have been determined.
   Draft guidelines and principles for Reserve determination have been presented at a workshop, at which
    expert panel members made an input. The guidelines address the following issues:
         o The conditions under which a full Reserve determination is not necessary.
         o Issues related to the Reserve in the National Water Resource Strategy and the internal strategy
            perspectives, and their legal status.
         o Whether a full Reserve determination is required for all Section 21 water uses, since some of
            the uses may impact only water quality, rather than quantity.

Alignment issues between RDM and water use allocation planning

   At which scale should a Reserve determination be conducted, given the cost implications of very fine
   What constitutes a 'significant' resource?
   How to implement the Reserve in the context of the licence conditions.
   The need to develop simpler processes (for instance, institutional arrangements for rapid Reserve
   How to interpret assurance rules in the context of licence conditions
   The need for real-time management of the low-flow component of the Reserve.


Without integration between RDM and water use allocation, the Reserve cannot be determined and
implemented in a sustainable manner. There is thus a critical need for integrated water resources
management, but this has implications in terms of institutional arrangements.


In response to a question from Hanlie Hattingh on where the deliverables of the project are available, Mr
Tlou responded that workshops had been held on the various deliverables, and that the updated versions
had been submitted to the RDM Directorate via the project manager, Gavin Quibbell.

Mr Moray (RDM Directorate) was curious about the title of the presentation (Integration of RDM into water
allocation). He considered that RDM should be a pre-requisite for water allocation, and that RDM was thus
already integrated with water allocation. Mr Tlou replied that it might be more accurate to say that the project
had sought to align the two processes.

Adams, University of Port Elizabeth)

Estuaries were not initially on the agenda in terms of developing resource directed measures, and were
moreover not included in the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. There are some 250 estuaries
along the South Africa coast, and they are important national assets. It has been estimated that recreational
fishing alone contributes approximately R36 million per annum to the national economy. To deliver goods
and services, estuaries require fresh water. Estuaries are recognised as a water resource, and there are
thus Reserve studies to determine the water requirements of estuaries. As with other resource directed
methods, the methods for estuaries were completed in 1999. Two important projects have been conducted
since then, namely:
 WRC project K5/1247: Information requirements for the implementation of RDM in estuaries
 WRC project K5/1308: Resource monitoring procedures for estuaries for application in the ecological
     Reserve determination and implementation

The updated RDM methods (version 2) are available on the DWAF website. Changes proposed by the WRC
project have already been incorporated and are available from the RDM Directorate.

Ongoing comprehensive studies are being conducted on the Kromme and Olifants rivers. A rapid Reserve
determination study is being done on the Seekoei river. Studies on the Orange, Tsitsikamma, Mhlanga,
Mdloti and St Lucia have recently been completed. The St Lucia workshop was important in that it was
jointly funded by DWAF and the Department of Environment Affairs and Tourism, which showed the
commitment of DEAT, which is also responsible for the management of estuaries. St Lucia is water
stressed. In 2003, the area experienced a severe drought. The river mouth closed and the system became
hyper-saline. Protecting the estuary is important in view of the eco tourism potential of the Greater St Lucia
Wetland Park Authority.

The following estuaries have been identified as priorities for future studies: Keurbooms, Mhlathuze, Berg,
Orange River Mouth, Swartvlei, Touw and Salt River.

The CAPE (Cape Action Plan for the Environment) project is ongoing (funded by GEF, DWAF and DEAT).
This is a local estuary management programme, relating to the area covered by the Cape Floral Kingdom,
which stretches from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape. The project initially considered terrestrial
conservation, but is now also investigating aquatic habitats. The information on the project comes from Lara
van Niekerk of the CSIR: Phase I will continue from 2004 until 2009. Working groups are being established
between DEAT, DWAF and scientists from other institutions. Methods developed as part of RDM, such as
the Estuarine Health Index, are being used in this initiative to set future ecological states. The objective is to
design and implement Estuary Management Plans, which involves Reserve studies as part of the process.
(In this regard, it is important to note the initiation of Reserve determination studies by initiatives outside of
DWAF.) There are four to six pilot sites, for example, at the Heuningnes, Breede, Gouritz and Seekoei

estuaries. The pilot sites will form the basis for the National Estuarine Monitoring Programme. Training and
capacity building focuses on local estuary managers.

Research is needed as an input to Reserve determinations. Better understanding improves the ability to
predict water requirements, which can often lead to saving water. The Consortium for Estuarine Research
and Management (CERM) has identified research priorities. The St Lucia research needs project is under
way, with funding from Marine and Coastal Management, the National Research Foundation and DWAF.

A proposal has been submitted to the WRC to look at temporarily open and closed estuaries. In such
systems, the mouth closes during low flow. Water is needed to flush open the sand bar and reconnect the
estuaries with the sea. Water requirements are based on the times of year that the mouth should be open,
for which research is required.

Research has not yet begun on:
 Groundwater input to estuaries
 Development pressures and estuary response. (The coastal environment is under enormous
   development pressure at present, especially along the Garden Route. Some developers are looking at
   installing desalination plants in these areas to provide water, and the availability of water could thus
   prove not to be a restricting factor on the number of people that visit the area.)

The group of scientists who, together with DWAF, developed the RDM method for estuaries attended an
international estuary conference in Australia during the course of the year, which included a workshop on
environmental flow allocations with participants from six different countries. The South African methods were
presented for discussion and critique. South Africa is leading the way in method development, but there is
much to learn from international collaboration. Closer interaction with the Australian scientists is thus
planned. An e-mail discussion group has already been set up (to join contact staljaar@csir.co.za). It is
proposed to apply the South African methods to an Australian estuary. The South African Reserve method
for estuaries has never been subjected to international review, and this interaction is therefore considered

The project on information requirements for the implementation of resource directed measures for estuaries
(WRC project K5/1247) investigated the flowing three aspects:
 Improving the importance rating (one of the steps in the RDM method)
 Quantifying water quality changes (as an information sharing exercise. A CD is available on estuarine
   organisms' water quality tolerance levels, etc., which will constitute an important resource for future
   Reserve determination studies)
 Temporarily open/closed estuaries.

The project involved capacity building. Training workshops on RDM methodology were organised as follows:
 Durban (April 2003), with participants from DWAF, Umgeni Water, Durban Metro, KZN Wildlife, CSIR,
 Port Elizabeth (June 2002), with participants from DWAF Eastern Cape and Pretoria, Thukela RDM
 Stellenbosch (July 2003), with participants from DWAF, Ninham Shand, City of Cape Town, Western
   Cape Nature Conservation, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Namibian Ministry of
   Agriculture, Water and Rural Development.

Each of the workshops dovetailed with real Reserve determination studies, giving people the opportunity to
observe the method and understand the process.

The learning from these workshops was fed back to the RDM Directorate and the FETWater initiative.

The new knowledge from the research included biological response to mouth conditions in temporarily
open/closed estuaries. In some cases, estuaries receive too much fresh water as a result of excessive
discharge into the rivers that feed the estuaries, as in the case of the Mhlanga and Mdloti estuaries. The
mouth needs to be closed for certain periods for increased production of the various biota and increased
biodiversity. As a result of the findings, Durban Metro is taking steps to manage its sewage discharge to
estuaries in a more favourable way.

As a result of the research, the water quality CD has become available, providing baseline data for
monitoring. The recommendations include sewage management practices.


Hanlie Hattingh voiced her concern that the integration of the various projects is a major issue, since there is
much overlap between them. An integration meeting had been scheduled for 25 October, and a general
invitation was issued.


Bill Rowlston

There had been discussion during the day about policy-making. To quote: "The art of policy making is to get
most policies mostly right, and not to try and get one or two polices perfectly right." In the RDM environment
and the broader environment of integrated water resources management, that is what is needed – not only
to get most of the policies mostly right most of the time, but also to ensure that the policies 'talk' to one
another. Otherwise there is a serious risk of duplication and of gaps.

Einstein said that everything should be made as simple as possible but no simpler. In the context of Reserve
determination, one of the criticisms from both inside and outside DWAF is that the process is too
complicated, and that there must surely be simpler ways of doing it so as to cut down on the time required.
We do have an obligation to investigate our processes and procedures and ensure that we are not over-
complicating the issues, but there is a point at which one realises that the natural aquatic systems and
resources are complicated, and we can never hope to fully understand them. What we are doing in the
present Reserve determination procedure is already a simplification, and if we make it any simpler, we will
trivialise the importance of natural resources and the aquatic ecosystem. We should resist doing so. Over
the years, concessions have been made from the ecological side that have almost reached the stage at
which the natural ecosystem is treated as something we can easily understand and manage. We cannot
manage ecosystems. What we need to manage are our interactions with such systems.

One of the words that kept coming up in the presentations was 'capacity'. The people in this room represent
most of the resource protection community. The South Africa Local Government Association (SALGA) had
remarked at a meeting the previous day on how few people are available and competent to carry out
Reserve determinations. There is thus an obligation to build capacity.

With regard to capacity building, an anecdote from JF Kennedy's presidential campaign is appropriate.
When an eager campaigner asked him what he wanted him to do towards the campaign, Kennedy replied
with a single word: "More."

Harrison Pienaar

The discussion and presentations of the day indicate that we are still confronted by a number of challenges.
Sometimes we have to be very bold in decision-making processes in DWAF. The South African government
is bold enough not to stress economic development at the expense of natural resources, and we are
moreover bound by the Constitution. There are a number of other departmental forums for discussing issues
related to water use licences. We are confronted by a challenge related to redress within the context of our
limited water resources, but we have to 'do it right'.

The present symposium was a FETWater initiative. Mr Pienaar thanked FETWater for the activities it had
initiated to date, and for the things it prompts DWAF managers to do.

Industry is relatively willing to support government on initiatives related to resource protection. There is a
need to strengthen the building of relationships of trust and confidence with industry. It is clear from the
presentations made that there are numerous water resource protection projects that are not associated with

the DWAF RDM Directorate, but there is a need to integrate the various efforts so that they work towards a
common goal.

Mr Pienaar thanked the presenters, the workshop organisers and those that had participated in the
discussions, as well as Mr Manyaka for acting as facilitator.


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