Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a new addition to the Integrated
Environmental Management (IEM) toolbox providing an approach for gathering,
debating and presenting information upon which decisions are made.
The SEA was introduced into the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
(DWAF) to support the implementation of the National Water Act (NWA, No. 36
of 1998). SEA is a process and working tool that offers an approach,
information and ways of supporting decision-making.
The SEA approach weighs the opportunities,constraints, the costs and
benefits. It also weighs the social, economic and ecological impacts of how
water is used and how it could perhaps best be used. This approach is also
useful in the water allocation plans and licensing process.