Community Involvement In Groundwater Management In The Western Cape: The Sandveld Case Study

Groundwater  is  a  reliable  freshwater  resource.  Its  location   underground  prevents  it  from evaporative  forces.  Thus  it  serves  as  storage  of  most  of  the  world’s  liquid  fresh  water.  Being enclosed in the ground it is not also easily contaminated. Since groundwater can be used wherever it exists without costly treatments, there is over-dependence on the resource. Though in the past it was mainly used by rural dwellers for domestic water supply, presently, due to effects of climate change on surface water resources, pressures of population growth leading to expansion of towns and cities, groundwater is also supplied for agriculture and industrial purposes. But, the resulting effect from these additional users is the vulnerability of groundwater resources to reduction and pollution. Its importance in sustaining livelihood and development has been highly credited and its management  is  looked  upon  as  a  prerogative.  To  enhance  groundwater  management  in  the Sandveld, a qualitative content analysis approach was used to evaluate six factors considered to be highly needed in groundwater management. This background was used to find out how institutional arrangement in South Africa facilitates or constraints groundwater management in the Sandveld, a highly groundwater dependent area in the West Coast of the Western Cape. The results showed that all  six  factors  are  present,  but  three  facilitate  groundwater  management  while  three  others constrain management. The community involvement which ranked first, is deficient. Thus, institutional weaknesses that need to be strengthened have been identified.

Presenter Name
Ayuk Juveta
Presenter Surname
Western Cape
Conference year