Invasion Biology

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Water Shortage, Deforestation and Development: South Africa's Working for Water Programme

In the post-apartheid era, South Africa is experiencing a serious water supply crisis as demand increases from both rural areas and rapidly growing towns and cities. New dams and water transfer schemes are being constructed, but they are both controversial and unlikely to fully satisfy demand. Alien species of trees and plants have invaded many plants of the country, taking over land from indigenous species. These alien species consume much more water than indigenous vegetation, as well as threatening biodiversity and constituting a significant fire hazzard. The Working for Water Programme, established in 1995, and working in partnership with local communities, aims to clear invasive alien species and thus increase water supply. The programme is examined in terms of its impacts on environment and the livelihoods of predominantly poor rural communities. Questions are raised about the future sustainability of the programme.


Difficulty B

Dr Richard Knight Co-ordinator: National Information Society Learnerships - Ecological Informatics
Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X17
Bellville 7535

Phone 27 + 21 + 959 3940
Fax 27 + 21 + 959 1237




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