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Parched Prospects: the Emerging Water Crisis in South Africa

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Institute for Security Studies and the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures

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Pardee Institute for International Futures
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Steven Hedden

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Hedden, S. and Cilliers, J. (2014). “Parched Prospects: The Emerging Water Crisis in South Africa.”

African Futures Paper No. 11. Institute for Security Studies and Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Pretoria, South Africa, and Denver, CO, USA.

South Africa is over-exploiting its freshwater resources, and water could be a large constraint on the implementation of the country's National Development Plan. Using the International Futures forecasting system, this paper models and forecasts water demand and supply until 2035, the period covered by the National Water Resource Strategy 2013. The authors’ research finds that the gap between demand and supply increases over this period, and that the solutions proposed by the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation will not close the gap without additional, aggressive measures. The authors propose such measures for each sector of demand and each source of water supply.

Keywords: Pardee Institute