Perspectives on integrated water resource management and its relevance in understanding the water-energy-climate change nexus in South Africa
It is increasingly acknowledged that the water-energy-climate change (WECC) nexus is one of the synergies that pose a significant risk to achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), specifically numbers six, seven and thirteen. There are suggestions that climate change outcomes such as increased temperature and drought episodes have implications for water availability, which in turn affects energy production in countries dependent on hydropower, pump-storage or coal-generated electricity, including South Africa. This development therefore calls for improved understanding of how to effectively manage the challenges that arise from this nexus, to mitigate the impacts it may have on achieving the associated SDGs. This study, which is based on an in-depth appraisal of existing developments, assessed the potential of the integrated water resource management framework in understanding the WECC nexus and its implications for South Africa’s sustainable development endeavours, particularly in the context of water resource management and utilisation. The study revealed South Africa’s lack of integrated, effective, and efficient institutions and policy framework to comprehensively manage the challenges emanating from this nexus. It identified an urgent need to develop systems and processes through which South Africa can handle the challenges as well as capture the benefits that may be obtained from this nexus.
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