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1 International water sharing: the first step in conflict resolution – agree on the base-line information Peter H. van Niekerk Department of Water Affairs.

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Presentation on theme: "1 International water sharing: the first step in conflict resolution – agree on the base-line information Peter H. van Niekerk Department of Water Affairs."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 International water sharing: the first step in conflict resolution – agree on the base-line information Peter H. van Niekerk Department of Water Affairs

2 2 Water needs and shared rivers South Africa is relatively water scarce: Rainfall skewly distributed and evaporation high

3 3 Water needs and shared rivers (contd ) South Africa is already using 65% of its potentially available conventional water resources (estimated at million cubic m/a) This is expected to increase to 71% by 2025 South Africa shares in four international rivers; the Orange, the Limpopo, the Incomati and the Maputo Rivers.

4 4 Basins in which SA shares

5 5 MAR Contributions and Use

6 6 Water needs and shared rivers (contd ) South Africas use is high, relative to that of neighbours, due to earlier economic growth. This is now changing and the pressure on these shared resources is expected to increase. International water commissions have been created to address issues in this regard.

7 7 Water needs and shared rivers (contd ) Negotiations over the years…. Komati – South Africa and Swaziland Incomati – South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique Upper Orange (Senqu) – South Africa and Lesotho Lower Orange – South Africa and Namibia Orange – South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana Upper Limpopo: South Africa and Botswana Limpopo: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique Case Studies: Komati and Incomati

8 8 Incomati Basin

9 9 Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa : History 1948: South Africa agreed not to object to Swazilands run- of-river project (7.76 cumec) 1954: Swaziland unilaterally increased abstraction to 9.71 cumec.

10 10 Komati Basin

11 11 Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa : History 1948: RSA agreed not to object to Swazilands run-of-river project (7.76 cumec) 1954: Swaziland unilaterally increased abstraction to 9.71 cumec 1957: South African White Paper on Nooitgedacht Dam

12 12

13 13 Komati Basin Nooitgedacht Dam

14 14 Nooitgedacht Dam completed in 1962

15 15 Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa : History 1948: South Africa agreed not to object to Swazilands run- of-river project (7.76 cumec) 1954: Swaziland unilaterally increased abstraction to 9.71 cumec 1957: South Africa White Paper on Nooitgedacht Dam – completed Swaziland built Sand River Dam (off-channel to the Komati River) without consulting South Africa

16 16 Komati Basin Sand River Dam

17 17 Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa : History 1948: South Africa agreed not to object to Swazilands run-of-river project (7.76 cumec) 1954: Swaziland unilaterally increased abstraction to 9.71 cumec 1957: South Africa White Paper on Nooitgedacht Dam – completed Swaziland built Sand River Dam (off-channel to the Komati River) without consulting South Africa 1967 South African White Paper on Vygeboom Dam

18 18

19 19 Komati Basin Vygeboom Dam

20 20 Vygeboom Dam – completed 1971

21 21 Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa : History 1948: South Africa agreed not to object to Swazilands run- of-river project (7.76 cumec) 1954: Swaziland unilaterally increased abstraction to 9.71 cumec 1957: South Africa White Paper on Nooitgedacht Dam – completed Swaziland built Sand River Dam (off-channel to the Komati River) without consulting South Africa 1967 South African White Paper on Vygeboom Dam. Completed 1971 Swaziland unhappy. Protracted negotiations on low flows on all trans-boundary rivers during mid 70s – but no agreement

22 22 Case Study: Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa: Breaking the Impasse 1981: Meeting of Ministers on Cape Town – agreed to a joint study of the Komati Basin by the JPTC (South Africa to fund). Consultants appointed 1984: Reconnaissance Study for the Development of the Water Resources of the Komati River Basin accepted after Swaziland had a review done by USACE)

23 23 Reconnaissance Study for the Development of the Water Resources of the Komati River Basin General information collated on a basin-wide basis such as topography, geology, climate, soils, land use and water use This was followed by studies into issues such as potential developments requiring water, legal and institutional matters, and water resource development opportunities in the short, medium and long term Recommended plan of action

24 24 Case Study: Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa: Cooperation contd 1985 JPTC appoints consultants for Feasibility Study 1987 Feasibility for the First Phase Development of the Water Resources of the Komati River Basin 1992 Treaty on the Development and Utilisation of the Water Resources of the Komati River Basin – Driekoppies and Maguga Dams and establishment of KOBWA

25 25 Driekoppies Dam completed in 1998

26 26 Maguga Dam under construction (completed 2002)

27 27 Case Study: Komati negotiations between Swaziland and South Africa: Cooperation contd Win-win outcome for South Africa and Swaziland –however, did not include the third country with an important stake in the waters of the basin: Mozambique.

28 28 Incomati Basin

29 29 Case Study: Incomati negotiations between Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique February 1989 Mozambique voiced its objections to the first phase of the Komati River Project Ministers of three countries agree to Komati River Project (Piggs Peak Agreement.) One of the conditions that a Joint Incomati Basin Study (JIBS) be undertaken three countries approve TOR for JIBS South Africa announces its intention to build the Inyaka Dam on the Mariti River, a tributary of the Sabie River, for municipal use. Mozambique expressed concern about impact on its downstream Corumane Dam (completed mid 1980s) and insisted that JIBS first had to be completed. Not acceptable for South Africa.

30 30 Case Study: Incomati negotiations between Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique (contd) 1992 consortium of consultants appointed for JIBS, but Mozambique announced their Minister still had to approve the project proposal. Agreed that data collection may start in meantime. By 1995 no approval from Mozambique. Result that report covering only South Africa and Swaziland had to be completed South Africa started construction of Inyaka Dam.

31 31 Inyaka Dam (completed 2002)

32 32 Case Study: Incomati negotiations between Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique (contd) 1995 Mozambique announced its readiness for the JIBS to include Mozambique portion of basin same consortium appointed to complete the study Joint Incomati Basin Study completed – more than ten years after the Piggs Peak Agreement was signed. In 1998 Mozambique argued for an interim agreement as it could not wait for the completion of the JIBS. Lengthy negotiations without the benefit of the baseline information followed. The INCOMAPUTO agreement was signed in 2002.

33 33 Discussion and Conclusions Little real negotiation on international water sharing during first part of twentieth century Awareness increased gradually – ILAs Helsinki Rules (1956) – UN Convention on Uses of Non-navigable rivers (1997) – SADC Revised Protocol on Shared Water Courses (2000) Political environment changed: From conflict and Apartheid in the middle of the century to democracy, peace and cooperation at the end. Even during turbulent times measure of cooperation on water matters. This improved enormously and today there are functional commissions for the four large river systems in which South Africa shares.

34 34 Discussion and Conclusions (contd) Experiences in the Incomati Basin in South Africa showed the importance for countries to first undertake joint studies to ascertain the basic facts about their shared water resources; e.g. hydrology, current water uses, environmental needs and development potential The Komati experience between South Africa and Swaziland showed that such a process quickly converged the minds of the negotiators and led to an equitable outcome

35 35 Discussion and Conclusions (contd) The process of undertaking a three country joint study of the Incomati Basin was protracted and segmented: The result had been – No agreed base information – Rather than a force for cooperation became an issue of frustration – Limited capacitating of negotiating parties Water sharing negotiations had to start without the benefit of an agreed baseline of technical information and, as a result, were slow.

36 36 Discussion and Conclusions (contd) Today the importance of agreeing on the base-line information is accepted; e.g. ORASECOM – undertook a basin-wide IWRM study which this year has entered its second, follow-up, phase, and – completed a preliminary TDA (transboundary diagnostic analysis) as foundation for a full GEF project. Value of jointly undertaking such base-line studies proven: – Lead to informed, and capacitated, participants – Provides a solid base for agreeing on joint actions and water sharing

37 37 Thank You


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