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The Value of Water


The valuation of water is a useful approach to inform decision-making processes as it places water in an economic context, enabling its comparison with other natural resources. The box below is a definition of the Valuation of Water provided by the United Nations Statistics Division.

Box: The Value of Water

The need to treat water as an economic good has been recognised as an essential component of sustainable water managementIntegrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), a globally endorsed concept for water management, identifies maximising economic value from the use of water and from investments in the water sector as one of the key objectives along with equity and environmental sustainability (Global Water Partnership 2000). This principle was reconfirmed at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, the 2003 Third World Water Forum in Tokyo, and the 2005 Millennium Project Report to the UN. The prices charged for water recorded in the national accounts often do not reflect its full economic value.

Source: UNSD 2006.


Chapter Summary

This chapter covers the following concepts and material:

Clean water and its importance to meet daily needs can be taken for granted.
Source:DWAF South Africa 2000
( click to enlarge )



Explore the sub-basins of the Orange-Senqu River

Explore the water management systems around the basin - including intra-basin transfers and sectoral water requirements

Investigate the dams and water infrastructure in the Orange-Senqu basin

Tour video scenes along the Orange-Senqu River related to Meeting the Water Challenge

Listen to a panel discussion about the history and challenges in the Orange-Senqu basin

Explore how hydroelectric dams work

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