Why is the National Water Act important?
The National Water Act is important because it will put in place those things contained in the South African Constitution that are about water.
Water is fundamental for all life. Without water no person, plant,
animal or living organism can survive. It waters the fields of farmers; it
waters the crops and stock of rural communities; it provides recreation,
it supports the environment, it supports towns and cities, mines,
industry, and power generation. People need water for drinking, growing
and cooking food, washing, and for health. Water is a critical part of
social and economic development to alleviate poverty.
South Africa is a dry country, with a low average rainfall. Our
rivers are small in comparison with other countries. A number of our
larger rivers are shared with other countries. Many of our existing water
resources have been over-used or significantly altered. Every day people
and organisations have an impact on the quality of our rivers and streams,
our groundwater, and wetlands.
Many areas in the country are facing water shortages, where the
requirements for water are greater than the available water. In these
areas the environment is under stress and some people do not have access
to potable (drinkable) water or do not get their fair share of
The National Water Act is important because it provides a framework to protect water resources against over exploitation and to ensure that there is water for social and economic development and water for the future. It is also important because it recognises that water belongs to the whole nation for the benefit of ALL people.
World Environment Day - 05 June