ACWR - African Centre for Water Research

Applied Research

Review of regulatory aspects of the water services sector

South Africa is currently in the process of drafting a water services regulation strategy. Given the state of development in the country, the high levels of poverty and the need to redress the imbalances created by Apartheid it is important that any new regulatory set-up takes the country's social commitments, specifically serving the poor, adequately into account.

In this project ACWR and its partners review different models of water services regulation internationally, in order to identify best practices in “pro-poor” regulation. From this review lessons are drawn and possible models, or elements of models for regulation in South Africa are identified. These models are assessed in the light of the South African legal framework and existing capacity constraints. An additional aspect of the analysis will be implications of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) for the ability to regulate and the scope of regulation.

The project aims to identify a suitable model for water services regulation in South Africa and will make recommendations in this regard. The project is funded by the Water Research Commission of South Africa.


Implications of South Africa's trade policies for water policy and water resources management

This project assessed the linkages between South Africa's international trade negotiations, agricultural and industrial policy and water resources management and water services provision. At present water aspects are not considered in trade policy-making and there is limited awareness of trade issues affecting water policy within the South African water sector.

In highlighting the linkages between the two fields and identifying possible policy approaches that take those linkages into account, ACWR (for the University of Pretoria) and its project partners TIPS (Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies) and EMG (Environmental Monitoring Group) aim at raising awareness and building capacity about the water/trade nexus. An additional aspect of the project is to identify possible means of interaction between the affected departments (DWAF, DTI, NDA, DEAT) and make recommendations for improved cooperation between them.

Based on its findings the project team made recommendations for future research in order to assist the development of a future research agenda in this field by the Water Research Commission or other role players. The project is funded by the Water Research Commission of South Africa.


Mapping of Integrity and Accountability in Water Activities and Relevant Capacities in the SADC Region

Integrity, Honesty and Anti-Corruption are hitherto some of the least addressed areas in the governance of water resources and services. Up until now it has many times been neglected or not systematically factored into the formulation and implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) policies. Since integrity, accountability and corruption are critical determinants of how water resources (as well as monetary resources) and services are governed and allocated, it is important to include it in a forceful and systematic way in water policy reform and implementation. The past years have shown some promising signs and decision-makers, development practitioners an researchers are increasingly focussing attention to improve water integrity, through for example various types of anti-corruption measures. Importantly, improved integrity, accountability an application of anti-corruption measures provide a force to be reckoned with to reduce poverty and to allocate and distribute water resources and services in fair and efficient ways. Improved integrity and accountability in water institutions for public and private governance an economic transactions constitute important assets for countries and local governments to achieve poverty reduction and to improve the management of water.

The UNDP Water Governance Facility at SIWI (WGF) is engaged in various activities linked to improved integrity and anti-corruption measures in water, including close links with the Water Integrity Network (WIN). An objective of the WGF is to increase its work in the area of accountability, integrity and anti-corruption in water. In collaboration with Waternet, Cap-Net and WIN, WGF has commissioned a study on “Mapping of Integrity and Accountability in Water Activities and Relevant Capacities in the SADC Region”, carried out by the African Centre for Water Research in collaboration with Transparency International (Zambia).

With the overall objective of supporting the development of further WGF activities in this area together with partners in the SADC-region, the mapping provides a brief assessment of existing processes related to strengthening integrity and accountability in water. The study identifies actors and provides a more systematic entry-point of where and how the WGF could work with these issues as well as identifying potential partners. The mapping of ongoing processes and relevant actors and their capacities should be seen as a first step towards the further development of this line of WGF activity.


Beneficial Use of Water Network Capacity Audit

Funded by UNESCO and the Flemish Government and commissioned by the Framework Programme on Education, Training and Research in Water (FETWater) this study assessed the capacity implications and training requirements for the effective implementation of the “beneficial use of water” concept in South Africa. In their report the team members of ACWR defined the concept of “beneficial use of water” in the South African legal and policy context, specifically in the context of water allocation reform and compulsory licensing. Following the definition of the concept an assessment of capacity requirements for its implementation was conducted. Based on the capacity assessment, existing training opportunities relating to the beneficial use concept as well as training gaps were identified. Recommendations for the development of additional training courses and target groups (within the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) were made.


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Legal, Policy and Strategy Analysis and Development: Current Projects : Completed Projects

Capacity Building: Current Projects : Completed Projects | Applied Research: Current Projects : Completed Projects