A water-scarce country
Water being the finite resource that it is, it is strictly overseen by the South African government through the National Water Act (NWA 36 OF 1998). Licensing and registrations are overseen by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). When it comes to the governance of water resources, there are two important concepts, namely water registrations and adequate recordkeeping, that forms the core of basic compliance with the NWA as well as compliance with the SIZA Environmental Standard.
Managing limited water supplies
Water registrations and licensing refers to the legal requirements for individuals or businesses to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to use and access water resources. This includes registering water usage and storage activities, drilling boreholes and discharging wastewater in accordance with South African national legislation.
The purpose of water registrations is to ensure that water resources are used sustainably and in compliance with water regulations. One of these requirements is that water records must confirm that the business does not exceed its registered allocation figures. These figures can be obtained by installing water meters at the main point of abstraction, or using advanced systems such as Mottech and Irricheck, which will not only provide proof of water usage figures but also assist in optimal usage of water during irrigation periods. To ease the burden and accessibility to adequate recordkeeping, SIZA offers the Digital Recordkeeping programme to assist with all types of recordkeeping needs. This programme promotes a better understanding of water consumption and usage on the site (e.g. per commodity or activity) and assists the producer with the completion of water use efficiency calculations.