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South Africa is overexploiting its water resources at the national level, as water withdrawals currently exceed reliable supply.
Using the International Futures forecasting system, this paper predicts that withdrawals in the municipal, industrial and agricultural sectors will increase over the next 20 years.
Proposed interventions for increasing supply and reducing demand are not enough to reconcile the gap between withdrawals and supply.
More must be done to bring the South African water sector into balance and reconcile future national water withdrawals with future supply.
About the author
Steve Hedden is research system developer at the Frederick S Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver. He was a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in the African Futures and Innovation section until December 2015.