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Water Demand in the Basin: Water Demand Management:

Water Demand Management at the Basin Level


The following are examples of projects, institutions and partnerships in place to manage water demands at the basin level.

Managing Water for African Cities (completed by 2015)

The United Nations have recognized that many African cities urgently need to develop and implement effective water conservation/water demand management strategies in order to use limited water resources more effectively. A collaborative project was launched by the UN Centre for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP) within the framework of the UN’s Special Initiative on Africa. The project promotes policies and programs for integrated urban water management for several African cities and prioritizes the development and implementation of Water Demand Management programs and measures.

Southern Africa Development Community Water Division

The SADC member states have adopted Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as the regional approach to support sustainable water resource management. The mid-term review of the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan 2 made a series of recommendations that included the need for Regional Water Resource Development Planning.  Included in this recommendation is the need to focus efforts on regional development planning mechanisms for the distribution of water within and across catchment boundaries covering the entire regionwith an emphasis on international river basins (SADC 2005).  These planning initiatives are to include measure to assess and address quantity, quality and demand issues. The RSAP-2 also recognizes the link between the alleviation of poverty and water demand management, driven by the need to accommodate the water demands of multiple levels of economy (SADC 2005).

Water Demand Management in Southern Africa Programme

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) funded project on Water Demand Management in Southern Africa began in 1997 with Phase I, developing into Phase II in 2000 (completed in 2004). Phase III of the WDM Program is being hosted and implemented by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and continues to be funded by Sida.  The overall development objective of the program is "to entrench a WDM culture in SADC that contributes to its goals of regional integration and poverty alleviation through pro-poor, efficient and sustainable utilization of water in the SADC region". To learn more about this program visit the website (

At the national level, ongoing discussions between the DBSA and the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa are moving towards implementing a nationwide WDM Program.

The Global Water Partnership

"The vision of the Global Water Partnership is for a water-secure world. [Their] mission is to support the sustainable development and management of water resources at all levels."

The Global Water Partnership for southern Africa (GWP-SA) aims to promote Integrated Water Resource Management in southern Africa through the exchange of information and experiences. The GWP is a worldwide network of partners that develops and implements programs in order to bridge gaps in knowledge (GWP-SA 2010). To learn more about the GWP visit its website (

Acacia Tree.
Source:Hall 2007
( 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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