South Africa is currently in a state of crisis regarding its water resources, not just in quantity, but in quality as well. The fragmented nature of policies, strategies, non-aligned legislature and the lack of both cooperative governance and co-ordination related to Water Quality Management activities prompted The Department of Water and Sanitation to revise, update and integrate water quality management, and provide a practical vision for WQM. We partnered with the DWS to support them in these efforts.
We undertook an assessment to understand the root causes of the water quality issues, as well as the WQM strengths to build on, opportunities to seize and gaps to fill based on a number of different engagements with key stakeholders. The assessment formed the basis for the Policy Principles Development which provided for the development of an integrated WQM Policy that would provide a higher level of connectivity across sectors and role-players. The WQM Policy illuminates the constitutional right of access to good water quality; and most critically, that good water quality positively impacts society, environment and economy, and should be seen as a developmental issue.