Water resources management, rural redress and agrarian reform

Type Working Paper - Development Planning Division Working Paper Series (DBSA)
Title Water resources management, rural redress and agrarian reform
Issue 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 1-36
URL http://www.dbsa.org/Research/DPD Working papers documents/DPD No 7.pdf
This paper focuses on the development of a coherent vision of rural redress and transformation, with effective institutional mechanisms for linking water management to agriculture, land, finance and other rural sectors. It provides the opportunity to explore a more encompassing vision of agrarian reform and its implications for the transformation of service delivery through focusing on the two main assets in agrarian reform: land and water. Past efforts at better integration of land reform, agriculture, agrarian reform and water resources management (WRM), including water allocation reform, have been ad hoc, fragmented and hardly successful. Development services (e.g. land reform, agriculture, irrigation, domestic water supplies, WRM, financing, health, social grants, etc.) have all too often been structured from the top down and operated parallel with each other. As the lowest level of the development state, local government has the mandate to implement integrated development planning. However, in this situation, it can only reproduce such fragmentation. Recognising this problem, the manifesto of the African National Congress (ANC, 2009) expresses its commitment to “a comprehensive and clear rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform”. This includes ensuring “a much stronger link between land and agrarian reform programmes and water resource allocation, and [ensuring] that the best quality of water resources reaches all our people, especially the poor”.