Original Articles

Developing a protocol for managing the biophysical condition of a water management area: the Sabie catchment case study


Abstract

Recent modification of the South African Water Law spells out fundamental changes for the way the country's water resources will be managed in the future. One of the most significant mandates is the establishment of Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and the delegation of water resource management responsibilities to these institutions. Their function will focus on the overall management of water resources on a catchment basis. Within the context of the new legal framework, there is a great need for support to CMAs, particularly in providing them with procedures for the optimal management of water resources in order to ensure a balance between sustainable use and protection of the resource. This paper describes a research project that aims to develop a protocol for the integrated management of the biophysical component of a catchment, with particular focus on river systems. This protocol will be a management tool for Catchment Management Agencies in support of more integrated and sustainable water resource management.

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