The legal framework for water security in SADC
Water is a basic human necessity and water resources are becoming scarce, limited and in some cases expensive. The SADC region is a very dry and semi-arid region, which places pressure on the region’s water resources and security. Water is a key ingredient for SADC to achieve their regional goals and water security should receive high priority in this region. As SADC’s economic development will be defined by the availability of water it is important to define ‘water security’ for this region. SADC has a large number of shared water resources and the scarcity of water has fostered cooperation between the member states. Achieving water security will rely on the legal instruments that are available to the SADC region. These legal instruments focus on cooperation, integration and management of transboundary rivers. In this dissertation various international, regional and legal instruments were discussed in terms of the definition for ‘water security’ in the SADC region. This dissertation does not only focus on the legal framework for water security but also where this normative framework failed to address the elements of water security. Two case studies will be done on transboundary rivers (Limpopo and Okavango River) to illustrate how cooperation and agreements between countries could lead to ensuring a water secure region. RBO’s are at the core of IWRM and the governance of transboundary rivers will rely on the commitment to the agreements between these countries. OKACOM and LIMCOM are both discussed in terms of their legal frameworks as well as measured against the main elements of water security. This study will thus, by examining the definition of water security and applying it to the legal framework provided for by SADC, establish whether SADC’s normative framework effectively provides for water security. The case studies will provide a practical example of wherethe RBO’s have utilised the normative framework provided, and whether RBO’s facilitate or enable water security in this region.
- Law