Wetland rehabilitation for improved water quantity and quality

In the face of a developing economy, Government has recognised the need for a renewed approach towards Water Quality Management as critical if water is to be managed sustainably. A policy, strategy and implementation actions is developed that is pragmatic, implementable and appropriate to the future institutional and governance landscape.

Here a spotlight on only the four high-level principles published, being decision making, sustainable development, stakeholder engagement and management and governance. 

Decision Making

All the relevant principles are considered, in line with current legisaltion. 

Decision makers must -

  • practice due diligence but giving adequate consideration to each relevant principle
  • consider relevant principles in a balanced manner with a relative importance afforded to each, appropriate in the context
  • practice consistency and objectivtiy

Sustainable Development

An appropriate quantity and quality of water is reserved for the healthy functioning of aquatic ecosystems.

The current generation has a moral responsibility to protect the healthy functioning of ecosystems by - 

Preventing pollution, both by preventing degradation of water resources and in particular water quality in the first place, and preventing further degradation of that which is negatively impacted. 

Reducing waste, including recycling, waste treatment, and use of cleaner technologies

Adopting the precautionary approach when a lack of scientific certainty exists to ensure conservative decisions minimise the risk

Using a differentiated approach to ensure that catchment specific conditions are taken into account

Recognising that implementing remediation in some catchments will require more than controlling currect active water use to maintain or improve water quality

Ensuring effective stakeholder engagement

Optimal Water Use

Including - 

Value based pricing

Socio-economic enhancement

Virutal water use, including importing products from areas which are less water-stressed

Equity between generations, acknolwedging that future generations have the same basic rights to sufficient water and healthy ecosystems

Current equitable access which incudes consideration of strategic national priorities ranked - 

The reserve

Honouring international agreements

Strategic uses (such as electricity generation)

Strategic future growth (in special circumstances)

Inter-basin transfers

 Environmental Integration  considers the physcial, chemical and biological components, and the processes within natural water resources

Good governance

Stakeholder Engagement

The principles which enable comprehensive consultation include - 

Inclusive involvement which allows all stakeholders' views to be given due consideration

Empowerment to participate ensures all stakeholders have the capacity to contribute meaningfully

Constructive cooperation strives for a combined effort by all role players that is positively productive

Efficient and effective engagement by keeping all role players focussed, and maintaining a clear goal-driven process

Management and Governance

Adaptive management strives for continuous management improvement by balancing robustness with flexibility

Cooperative governancne supprot legislative alignment

Sound financial management through transparency and accountability

Prudent pragmatism strives to apply with caution more practical methods as a basis for decision making, including the Precautionary approach

Gender equity strives to ensure that women in rural communities are recognised as primary stakeholders

Value-based pricing which includes the polluter pays* principle, full cost recovery, equitable affordability and acknowledgement of the contribution water makes to our spiritual wellbeing. 


*Polluter pays: Those using resources, receiving a service or producing waste, should carry the costs and the responsibility for pollution arising from the use of such resources, from the use of the service and from the associated production of waste.

 

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