An evaluation of the Sensitivity of Socio-Economic Activities to Climate Change in Climatologically Divergent South African Catchments

Project Details
Organisation(s) involved: University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Bioresources Engineering and Environmental Hydrology and the Water Research Commission (WRC)
Project Objective/ Description: South Africa is faced with stressed water resources already and does not have a high level of capacity to cope and adapt. Consequently, a transition into a pro-active, adaptive management approach is imperative. It calls for a highly integrated management concept at catchment level, based on sound understanding of the interdependence of different key factors, such as economic and human needs, environmental requirements and management capacity under CC conditions. One starting point is a detailed analysis of the biophysical baseline and environmental as well as social-economic responses, in order equitably allocate water to all sectors. Knowledge of levels of vulnerability and policy driven opportunities of adaptability within selected catchments will bring comprehensive awareness of alternative strategies, for all of which adequate information management is also critical.
Location: Berg, Breede and Umgeni River Catchment