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WHAT IS BENEFICIAL USE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST?

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South Africa's White Paper on a National Water Policy, April 1997 [PDF - 134 KB] indicates that outside of the water required for Basic Human Needs and for the environment, only that water use which is beneficial and in the public interest will be recognised. This "beneficial use in the public interest" is the optimum balance of social, economic and environmental needs.

The approaches developed to support Water Allocation Reform as stipulated in the Strategy for Water Allocation Reform, September 2008 [PDF - 221 KB] take this further, saying that beneficial use in the public interest includes

  • Economic growth and social development,
  • Job creation,
  • Equitable access to water for productive purposes,
  • Social stability,
  • Investor confidence,
  • Protection of aquatic ecosystems,
  • Efficient and non-wasteful water use, and
  • A balance between the water using sectors.

This means that it is not only who gets water that is important, but also that the way in which water is reallocated between users that can influence the benefits to the nation.

 

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