Southern Cape Landowners join Ceres and Langkloof Farmers in the Water Stewardship Alliance
Water resources worldwide are increasingly taking strain from burgeoning populations, pollution, development and the effects of climate change, says Cobus Meiring from the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI).
The Southern Cape is no exception to the rule, and already towns like Oudsthoorn, Knysna and Sedgefield are regularly experiencing critically low water levels.
SCLI recognizes the devastating impact of invasive alien plants on bio- diversity (particularly in the Fynbos biome) and available water resources, and acts as a regional public platform for those who have an interest in the control and eradication of invasive alien plants.
Recently, SCLI joined export farmers and water users from the Langkloof and Ceres in a workshop on Water Stewardship, aimed at looking holistically at how to develop and implement best practice measures to conserve water use and protect available water resources.
Says Meiring: “SCLI is busy putting the ground roots in place to establish Water Stewardship principles in the Southern Cape, and already big business and local government is showing interest”.
Says Mark Dent from the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS): “Water stewardship is about water users playing a proactive role in the sustainable and equitable management of water, at site level, within their communities, at catchment, national and even international scales. Proactive means that users actively ensure that their water use represents good practice, complies with local policy and law, and does not negatively affect the water quality, available quantity or ecosystems upon which others depend. It also means that users play an active role in improving water governance within and outside the fence line of their operations”.
“The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing water stewardship around the world. As part of this mission, AWS developed The AWS International Water Stewardship Standard. The AWS Standard was the result of an international, four-year, ISEAL compliant, multi-stakeholder process that responded to the growing need for evidence of robust water risk and impact mitigation efforts. It is built around the notion of implementing water stewardship at the site level in a way that understands and engages with the broader catchment to work with other water stakeholders to address shared water-related challenges and opportunities”.
The working group was arranged by GIZ (International Water Stewardship Programme, Centre for Cooperation with the Private Sector) Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in collaboration with WWF South Africa.
SCLI is supported by the Table Mountain Fund