A delicate balance: water scarcity in South Africa

2018-03-16

South Africa is currently overexploiting its renewable water resources. Moreover, withdrawals are forecast to increase in all three sectors (agricultural, industrial and municipal). Meanwhile, much of the country’s water infrastructure is in disrepair and dam levels are dangerously low. This report presents a national-level forecast of water supply and withdrawals until 2035, before exploring alternative scenarios. It is possible to restore stability to South Africa’s water system, but it will take significant financial investment and political will.


About the authors

Zachary Donnenfeld is a senior researcher with the African Futures and Innovation Programme. He started at the ISS in 2015 and previously worked at the Frederick S Pardee Center for International Futures, and the Environment, Food and Conflict Laboratory at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. 

Courtney Crookes joined the ISS as a consultant in 2016. She is completing her MA in water resource management at the University of Pretoria, and holds a degree in Hydrology and a post-graduate diploma in Business Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Steve Hedden is a Research Systems Developer at the Frederick S Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. From 2014 to 2015 he was a researcher at the ISS in the African Futures and Innovation Programme.

feature-5icon-printerlogo-chlogo-fr