The increasing demand for water in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe (countries that share international rivers that supply water to southern river basins) poses a challenge for the efficient management of water resources in the country. The unavoidable challenge that was viewed by stakeholder is: How to ensure that shared water resources are managed effectively and sustainably, while still meeting the diverse, multi-lateral needs of other countries.
In view of that, the Director of the National Directorate of Water, Ms Sarang Laforte during her opening remarks informed delegates that there has to be recognition that managing and developing the water resources of shared river basins require different approaches from national water management and hinges on commitment to cooperative governance.
According to Ms Laforte, this is a starting point is to achieving a vision for the river basins that are shared by the government and populations of the riparian countries, together with common objectives that are measurable and achievable.
In addition, Dr Juizo, the guest of honour from UEM, Salomon Oda pointed out to the need for IWRM in ensuring the coordinated management of water and ensuring its sustainability.
The water situation in Mozambique in regard to its shared river courses was discussed and debated and yielded a number of lessons and recommendations. Presentations from group discussions further pointed out that:
- Developing transboundary cooperative governance requires the fostering of trust, mutual understanding and respect for each sharing country’s unique objectives for socio-economic development.
- IWRM strategies being important building blocks towards achieving both national and multi-lateral objectives to managing water resources.
- Integrating and correlating base information from riparian countries is critical to arriving at agreed data sets and maps as this has an impact on flood control and management.
- There is greater need for hydrological analysis and calibration of the hydrological model of the basins
- Assessment of water resources infrastructure, including modelling the yields of sub-catchments and dams has to be regularly undertaken.
- There is greater need of water quality assessments and coordinated management with other line ministries, such as Environment, Mining and Local Government;
- This would enable countries to share a common understanding of the opportunities, challenges and limitations that the available water resources hold for future developments.
- There is need for more demand –side management research by water management institutions
- Greater coordination of efforts from all stakeholders from other line ministries is required.
The Water Weeks in Mozambique were hosted by the National Directorate for Water (DNA), the main institution under the Ministry of Public Housing umbrella, which is responsible for water management in the country and to prepare and reinforce the existing water legislation. GWPSA facilitated the event on behalf of SADC.