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WELCOME TO THE WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT WEB PAGE



In Terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996) the management of Water Resources is an exclusive National competency. As such the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998) mandates the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry to ensure that water is protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable and equitable manner for the benefit of all persons.

The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, supported by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, acts as the public trustee of the nation's water resources. Within the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Directorate Water Quality Management and the various Regional Offices are jointly responsible for the governance of Water Quality in South Africa.


In achieving our vision, mission and objectives, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's Water Quality Management function believes in the following values towards:
OUR
CUSTOMERS
OUR
EMPLOYEES
THE PUBLIC AND THE ENVIRONMENT CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLICY AND SYSTEMS CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
Ensure a unified sense of direction both in internal and external institutions.

Foster mutual respect.

Provide appropriate capacity and resources.

Strive towards service excellence.

Practice fair, consistent and transparent decision-making.

Ensure just administrative action.

Build Trust.

Promote individual responsibility and accountability.

Nurture, skill and build appropriate capacity.

Advocate respect.

Strive to ensure job satisfaction.

Reward superior performance.

Ensure openness and transparency.

Involve employees in decision-making.

Optimise personnel development and career pathing.

Create an environment that is conducive to optimum employee performance.

Embrace the principles of equity in all management practices.

Fairness in disciplinary action
Improve quality of life.

Ensure that economic development does not compromise the right of communities to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being.

Demonstrate commitment to users' needs and those of the environment.
Promote Co- operation.

Speak as one government, with one voice.

Promote respect and recognition of others.

R
espect others' mandates.

P
romote integrated environmental management.

Understand the business of others.

Influence consideration of our goals, by others.
Manage water resources judiciously on a sustainable basis.

Ensure fitness for water use of our water resources.

Subscribe to source, resource, and remediation directed measures in decision-making

Authorise water use sustainably.

Consider for resource directed measures in decision-making.

Ensure accuracy.

Work towards synergism (integrated and segregated) in water resource management on a catchment basis.
Develop appropriate, achievable and easily implementable policy and systems.

P
rovide simple, efficient and effective procedures and guidelines.

E
nsure a high quality product.

Adopt a total systems approach to water resource management in the development of policy.
Continuously improve and evaluate the performance of the Department's Water Quality Management function.

K
eep track of development outside of the Department's Water Quality Management Function.

Strive to enable the customer to allow independent implementation

C
ontinuous devolution of tasks to implementing agencies/agents.

T
imeous application of corrective action.
TRANSFORMATION:
Race, Responsiveness, Restructuring, Representivity, Respect.
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's Water Quality Management Function in South Africa strives to-
  • Ensure the continuous improvement of Water Quality Management;

  • Become a recognized world leader in Water Quality Management;

  • Be proactive, dynamic, efficient and effective in its delivery of services to the public;

  • Provide the necessary policies and systems to ensure integrated sustainable management of water quality;

  • Promote cooperative governance across all spheres of management; and

  • Ensure a fully capacitated, loyal workforce to support its functions.
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's Water Quality Management Function's mission is:

"To ensure the integrated sustainable management of the water quality of the water resources of South Africa".



The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's Water Quality Management Function's Main Objectives are to:
  • Plan and develop (or revise) point-source, implement and administer diffuse source, remediation and resource directed integrated water quality management policies, strategies, procedures, guidelines, methodologies, regulations and criteria;

  • Build capacity internally and externally;

  • Provide specialist technical and strategic support;

  • Consider authorisations;

  • Monitor, and audit the implementation of the said policy;

  • Manage Water Quality Management related information;

  • Promote transparent decision-taking through Co-operative Governance and participative management;

  • Ensure the integrated sustainable management of the water quality of the water resources of South Africa through the application of Source Directed Controls (SDCs which includes Remediation Directed Measures, for all sources of water pollution that eliminate from land, and Resource Directed Measures (RDM), which includes Remediation Directed Measures; and

  • Ensure fitness for use of South Africa's surface water, groundwater and estuarine water for all user sectors, which include: Agriculture; Domestic; Industry; Recreation; as well as the Aquatic ecosystems.

  • PREVENTION OF POLLUTION

    Prevent waste production and pollution of water resources wherever possible.
    "Prevention is better than cure"


  • MINIMISATION OF POLLUTION AT SOURCE

    Minimise unavoidable waste production through:

    • Recycling/ Re-use of waste or water containing waste;

    • Detoxifying;

    • Neutralisation; and/ or

    • Treatment of waste streams; and/ or

    • Introduction of cleaner technologies and best management practices ("Housekeeping" ).
  • DISPOSAL OF WASTE AND/ OR DISCHARGE OF WATER CONTAINING WASTE ACCORDING TO THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

    If there exists no alternatives to the disposal of waste and/ or the discharge of water containing waste, the precautionary principle applies.

    In the instance of the discharge of water containing waste, the Waste Discharge Standards, as set by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (currently the General, Special and Special Standards for Phosphate), applies as the minimum requirement.

    In the instance of the disposal of waste, the Minimum Requirements for waste disposal, as set by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, applies as the minimum requirement.

(Such disposal of waste and/ or discharge of water containing waste will only be allowed if the receiving environment has the capacity to assimilate the additional waste load.)
  • DISPOSAL OF WASTE AND/ OR DISCHARGE OF WATER CONTAINING WASTE ACCORDING TO THE DIFFERENTIATED APPROACH

    If the minimum requirements, mentioned above, are insufficient to ensure the fitness for use of the receiving water environment, stricter standards will be enforced in accordance with the differentiated approach.

    Relaxation from compliance with the minimum requirements, mentioned above, will only as a last resort be considered if the receiving environment has the capacity to assimilate the additional waste load. Relaxation would have to be justified on the basis of technology, economic and socio-political considerations.

    The differentiated approach takes account of catchment specific conditions and includes the determination of Resource Quality Objectives (RQOs), Resource Water Quality Objectives (RWQOs) and the setting of standards that must ensure compliance to both RQOs and RWQOs. The levels at which the above in-stream objectives will be set, will be determined through the application of a Management Classification System for the particular water resource.

 

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