Water Governance for Sustainable Development

Water Governance for Sustainable Development




The book examines how water policies, institutions and governance have shifted in recent years from supply-driven, quantitative, centrally controlled management to more demand-sensitive, decentralized participatory approaches. Such a move often also implies cost recovery principles, resource allocation among competing sectors, and privatization. The case studies demonstrate that the new policies and legal frameworks have been difficult to implement and often fall short of intitial expectations.



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Water Governance for Sustainable Development

Sylvain Perret

Stefano Farolfi

Rashid Hassan

First published by Earthscan in the UK and USA in 2006

Copyright © Sylvain Perret (Cirad), 2006

Cirad Editions
TA 283/04
Avenue Agropolis
34938 Montpellier Cedex 5

All rights reserved


ISBN-13: 978-1-84407-319-1

Cirad ISBN: 2-87614-635-5

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Earthscan is an imprint of James and James (Science Publishers) Ltd and publishes in association with the International Institute for Environment and Development

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:

Water governance for sustainable development / edited by Sylvain Perret, Stefano Farolfi and Rashid Hassan.

p. cm.

“The idea of the present book originated during the international workshop on Water Resource Management for Local Development: Governance, Institutions and Policies (WRM2004, Loskop Dam, South Africa, 8-11 November 2004)”—P.

ISBN-13: 978-1-84407-319-1 (hardback)

ISBN-10: 1-84407-319-X (hardback)

1. Sustainable development-Africa. 2. Water-supply-Africa-Management. 3. Water quality management-Africa. 4. Water resources development—Africa. I. Perret, S. (Sylvain) II. Farolfi, Stefano. III. Hassan, Rashid M.

HC800.Z9E594 2005



The paper used for this book is FSC certified. FSC (the Forest Stewardship Council) is an international network to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.


Table of Contents

Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Figures
List of Tables
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Introduction - New Paradigms, Policies and Governance in the Water Sector
Part I
1 - Understanding Water Institutions: Structure, Environment and Change Process
2 - Public-Private Partnership in Irrigation and Drainage: The Need for a Professional Third Party Between Farmers and Government
Part II
3 - The Possibility of Trade in Water Use Entitlements in South Africa under the National Water Act of 1998
4 - Redressing Inequities through Domestic Water Supply: A ‘Poor’ Example from Sekhukhune, South Africa
5 - Local Governance Issues after Irrigation Management Transfer: A Case Study from Limpopo Province, South Africa
6 - Water Management on a Smallholder Canal Irrigation Scheme in South Africa
7 - Emerging Rules after Irrigation Management Transfer to Farmers
8 - Crafting Water Institutions for People and Their Businesses: Exploring the Possibilities in Limpopo
Part III

9 - Conflict Analysis and Value-focused Thinking to Aid Resolution of Water Conflicts in the Mkoji Sub-catchment, Tanzania
10 - Determinants of Quality and Quantity Values of Water for Domestic Uses in the Steelpoort Sub-basin: A Contingent
11 - Water Resources and Food Security: Simulations for Policy Dialogue in Tanzania
12 - How More Regulated Dam Release Can Improve the Supply from Groundwater and Surface Water in the Tadla Irrigation Scheme in Morocco
13 - Impact of Institutional Changes within Small-scale Groundwater Irrigated Systems: A Case Study in Mexico
14 - Local Empowerment in Smallholder Irrigation Schemes: A Methodology for Participatory Diagnosis and Prospective Analysis
15 - Role-playing Game Development in Irrigation Management: A Social Learning Approach
16 - Support to Stakeholder Involvement in Water Management Circumventing Some Participation Pitfalls
ABHAgence de Bassin Hydraulique
ABMagent-based model
AFEIDInternational Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
ANCAfrican National Congress
ARDAgricultural and Rural Department (World Bank)
ARDAAgricultural and Rural Development Association
ARWRannual renewable water resources
BNHRbasic human need reserve
CCVDCommunauté de Communes du Val de Drôme
CEAGComisión Estatal del Agua de Guanajuato
CMAcatchment management agency
CMScrop management style
CODEVASFCompanhia de Desenvolvimento dos Vales do São Francisco e do Parnaíba (development company of the São Francisco river valley)
CSIRCouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research
CVcontingent valuation
CVMcontingent valuation methodology
DD/NFDingleydale/New Forest
DFIDDepartment for International Development (UK)
DOADepartment of Agriculture (UK)
DPLGDepartment of Provincial and Local Government (South Africa)
DWAFDepartment of Water Affairs and Forestry (South Africa)
DWSSDomestic water supply system
ECAEconomic Commission for Africa
EOextension officer
ETaactual evapotranspiration
EToreference evapotranspiration
ETppotential evapotranspiration
FBWfree basic water
FDIForeign direct investment
GGPgross geographic product
GNUGovernment of National Unity
GWCGa-Mashishi Water Committee
GWPGlobal Water Partnership
HYVhigh yielding variety
I&Dirrigation and drainage
ICIDInternational Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
ICTinformation and communication tool
IDAinstitutional decomposition and analysis
IDSPI&D service provider
IFADInternational Fund for Agricultural Development
IFRIInternational Food Research Institute
IMTirrigation management transfer
IWMIInternational Water Management Institute
IWRMintegrated water resources management
JICAJapan International Cooperation Agency
LDRlinear division rule
LDWALebowa Department of Water Affairs
LNWLepelle Northern Water
LPDALimpopo Department of Agriculture
LWUALebalelo Water Users Association
MAFSMinistry of Agriculture and Food Security
MCmanagement committee
MCMmillion cubic metres
MCPmixed complementarity problem
MDAMunicipal Demarcation Act
MENAMiddle East and North Africa
MSCMkoji Sub-Catchment
MWCMoeding Water Committee
NEPADNew Partnership for Africa’s Development
NGOnon-governmental organization
NIMBYnot in my back yard
NIMPNational irrigation Master Plan
NPDALENorthern Province Department of Agriculture, Land and Environment
NWANational Water Act
NWRSNational Water Resource Strategy
O&Moperation and maintenance
OBAoutput-based aid
OLSordinary least squares
OMMoperation, maintenance and management
ORMVATOffice Regional de Mise en Valeur Agricole du Tadla
PIMparticipatory irrigation management
PITCpolicy induced transfer costs
PPPpublic—private partnership
PSDpublic service delegation
PTOpermission to occupy
PUWSpotentially utilizable water resources
RDPreconstruction and development programme
RESISRevitalization of Smallholder Irrigation Schemes
RPGrole-playing game
SASouth Africa
SALGASouth African Local Government Association
SDMSekhukhune District Municipality
SISsmallholder irrigation scheme
SIWIStockholm International Water Institute
SMCscheme management committee
SmileSustainable Management of Irrigated Land and Environments
SSBSteelpoort Sub-basin
TAtraditional authority
TDtotal diversions
TLCTransitional Local Council
URTUnited Republic of Tanzania
WBwater bailiff
WCwater committee
WMAwater management area
WRCWater Research Commission
WSAWater Services Act (South Africa)
WSSwater and sanitation sector
WTAwillingness to accept
WTPwillingness to pay
WUAwater users association
WWAPWorld Water Assessment Programme


The idea of the present book originated during the international workshop on Water Resource Management for Local Development: Governance, Institutions and Policies (WRM2004, Loskop Dam, South Africa, 8—11 November 2004). The workshop gathered 90 delegates from 17 different countries. About 50 papers were presented, and case studies from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal and Egypt were discussed. The core idea of the workshop was to create an opportunity for exchange, discussion, and knowledge- and experience-sharing between research teams, and policy and development agents. Full papers and further information on the workshop can be drawn from the website: http://wrm2004.cirad.fr

The event received financial and institutional support from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry of South Africa (DWAF), the Water Research Commission (WRC), the Embassy of France in South Africa, the Joint Research Unit on Water Management at Cemagref-Cirad-Ird (PCSI, UMR G-Eau), and the French section of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (AFEID). We gratefully acknowledge these organizations for their generous support.

A special note of thanks is due to the following members of the organizations mentioned above for their sustained efforts in making sure the event would be a success: Eiman Karar, Derek Weston, Francois Van der Merwe and Eustathia Bofilatos at DWAF, Gerhard Backeberg and Kevin Petersen at the WRC, Samuel Elmaleh at the French Embassy, Patrice Garin and Jean-Yves Jamin at UMR G-Eau, and Henri Tardieu and Alain Vidal at AFEID.

Considering the success of the workshop, and the quality of the material presented and debated therein, it was decided to develop this book. Papers have been pre-selected and peer-reviewed. Alongside my fellow scientific editors, Dr Stefano Farolfi, and Prof Rashid Hassan, a number of international experts participated in the editing process. The following individuals must be acknowledged and thanked for their efforts, as members of the editorial committee:

Dr Martine Antona (Cirad, France); Dr Gerhard Backeberg (Water Research Commission, South Africa); Dr Felicity Chancellor (Aquademos, United Kingdom); Dr Jean-Yves Jamin (Cirad, France); Dr Damien Jourdain (Cirad, France); Mrs Eiman Karar (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa); Dr Kevin Pietersen (Water Research Commission, South Africa); Dr Thierry Rieu (Engref, France); Prof Kate Rowntree (Rhodes University, South Africa); Dr R. Maria Saleth (International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka); Dr Geert van Vliet (Cirad, France).

A special word of gratitude goes to Cerkia Grant, who has been a very efficient assistant to the editorial process, with the utmost judgement.

The present book is co-published by Cirad and Earthscan. I wish to express my gratitude to Rob West at Earthscan for the quality of his communication and guidance. At Cirad, the excellent support provided by Christine Rawski and Martine Séguier-Guis is noted with thanks.

The book benefited from financial support from the Embassy of France in South Africa, from Cirad and from the Joint Research Unit on Water Management at Cemagref-Cirad-Ird (UMR G-Eau). At the French Embassy, Samuel Elmaleh must be gratefully acknowledged for his constant support. At Cirad and at the UMR G-Eau respectively, Pierre-Marie Bosc and Patrice Garin managed to gather additional funds for publication. I want to sincerely thank them for that.

The University of Pretoria, and more especially Prof Johann Kirsten in his capacity as Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, have been most supportive and helpful, hosting the three scientific editors, and providing administrative support to the whole process.

Ultimately, all contributing authors are to be credited for sustaining their efforts throughout the demanding editorial process.

Dr Sylvain Perret
Scientific editor
Organizer of the workshop WRM2004


The blue planet that is our fragile and precious home has vast water resources, but only a fraction of these resources are of freshwater. It is that small volume of freshwater that must meet the needs of billions of people, the rich variety of animals and the plethora of plants that make this planet so remarkable. From the dry heat of the deserts to the melting expanse of the polar ice-caps, water traces a common thread through all living organisms: water is the key ingredient of life. Yet freshwater resources are distributed unevenly across the surface of the earth, and the geological scars of old riverbeds, now dry, provide the evidence that where there is water now, there may not always be water.

In the short history of humankind, many civilizations have been built around water — using waterways for transport and trade, using water for agriculture, using water for cultural practices that bind the soul of a society together. Where there has been a shortage of water, human ingeniousness has often transported water across long distances, from one river basin to another. Yet continuing challenges loom large in the relationship between people and water. Lack of infrastructure in developing countries means water cannot be harnessed in the interests of the poor. In developing and developed countries alike, pollution renders our limited water increasingly unfit for use, even lethal. Every year millions die from water borne diseases. Moreover, global climate change threatens altered rainfall patterns and increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

Around the world, billions of people live in poverty, eking out a desperate daily existence in the face of famine, war and an all-pervading lack of resources. The poorest of the poor are often women and women-headed households. The scourge of AIDS has exacerbated poverty and vulnerability in many parts of the world, increasing, horrifyingly, the number of children-headed households. There are many definitions of the condition of poverty, some qualitative, some quantitative. As water managers, instinctively we understand that anyone without access to a reliable source of good quality water is poor. The poor are forced to drink from contaminated rivers, to share their springs with livestock, to watch their meagre crops wilt and die when the rains fail.

Access to safe water for drinking, cooking and washing, access to water for growing crops and watering livestock, and access to water for small businesses could profoundly change the lives of many of the poor. The flow of water would carry to them the potential for healthy lives, for development, for filling hungry bellies. The flow of clean water would save millions of mothers and fathers from watching their children die of diarrhoea. The flow of water would carry hope. Access to water is not, in itself, sufficient to eradicate poverty, but it is a necessary condition of the bigger process of sustainable development.

Africa is particularly vulnerable to these challenges. Much of the continent is vulnerable to droughts. Much of the continent is dry. Most of the continent is underdeveloped. Most of the population lives in poverty. Within this context, many water managers are performing remarkable feats at local, regional and national levels, finding creative and innovative ways to manage water in the interests of sustainable development. Some of these feats have borne remarkable success, while others have failed. We learn through both success and failure. The most important step is to learn and to keep trying.

Over the past ten years, South Africa has profoundly reformed its water governance system. The process resulted in new policy, a remarkable National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), which enshrined integrated water resources management in a developing country context, and a reformed set of water management institutions to implement the policy and the legislation. These institutions are now grappling with the significant challenges of implementing the new policy and, in particular, ensuring that the implementation meets the challenges of addressing poverty, and historical race and gender disadvantage. In the reform process, South Africa drew deeply from the experiences of other countries around the world, both developing and developed. We did not always agree with the directions taken in other countries, and we were cautious to ensure that any lessons learned were suitable to our own context. Nonetheless, we are very conscious that we stood on the shoulders of the giants that went before us, and that we have benefited from the minds and experiences that shaped water governance around the world.

Having benefited so deeply from international expertise in shaping our water governance framework in South Africa, it was an honour to host the international workshop on Water Resource Management for Local Development: Governance, Institutions and Policies, from which this book has been derived.

It is often said that knowledge is power. But access to water too is access to power. It can only be hoped that the publication of this book, and the sharing of the experiences and knowledge contained in this book, will contribute to the empowerment of people, through access to knowledge, and ultimately, through access to water and the benefits that water brings.

Mrs Barbara Schreiner
Senior Executive Manager: Policy and Regulation
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa