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The challenges of rescaling South African water resources management: Catchment management agencies and interbasin transfers

Bourblanc M., Blanchon D.. 2014. Journal of Hydrology, 519 (Part C) : p. 2381-2391.

The implementation of Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) was supposed to be the cornerstone of the rescaling process of the South African water reform policy. Yet, less than 10 years after the adoption of the National Water Act, the process was suspended for 4 years and by 2012 only two CMAs had been established. Combining approaches in geography and political science, this paper investigates the reasons for the delays in CMAs' implementation in South Africa. It shows that the construction of interbasin transfers (IBTs) since the 1950s by the apartheid regime and nowadays the power struggles between CMAs and the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) are two of the main obstacles to the creation of CMAs planned by the 1998 National Water Act (NWA). Finally, the paper advocates taking the "hydrosocial cycle" as an analytical framework for designing new institutional arrangements that will include both rectifying the legacy of the past (the specific role of DWA) and acknowledging legitimate local interests. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : afrique du sud

Thématique : Ressources en eau et leur gestion

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