Management of the re-routing of water destined for domestic use by the city of Potchefstroom
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Water is an essential element for life and crucial to survival. South Africa is a semi-arid country and therefore water should be protected and managed effectively by all residents of the country. In the 1830s the Mooi River was the key reason for the Voortrekkers to establish Potchefstroom at a locality adjacent to this river. The Voortrekkers noticed the dolomitic outcroppings in the vicinity, but still opted to reside next to the river for it provided easily accessible water and fertile soil. Since the 1830s water legislation regulating the management and use of the water in the Mooi River has been amended innumerable times to bring us to the current situation of Potchefstroom’s water (mis)management by the role-players and stakeholders of the water source. As a resident of Potchefstroom, the researcher has a keen interest in the origin of the city’s water sources, the re-routing of the water from the origin to the water purification unit via the open-on-top cement canal system, and the overall management of these canals and their servitudes. In order to conduct a research study on the Mooi River’s water re-routing canals and servitudes, the following research methods were applied: The researcher performed a comprehensive literature review, conducted fieldwork, held interviews with landowners and experts in the geographical area of the Mooi River Valley, and performed statistical analyses as well as content analyses of the findings. Some of the most alarming findings include the lack of co-operative governance between water users and – authorities, and the current public management and disaster risk management challenges in the re-routing of water from Klerkskraal Dam down to the water purification plant of Potchefstroom. It is recommended that the major stakeholders of the Mooi River Valley, e.g. the disaster management centre in Potchefstroom, the Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) regional offices in Potchefstroom, as well as the Tlokwe Local Municipality need to join forces for a combined effort to accomplish the overarching research objective of achieving improved cooperative municipal governance and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to eventually ensure the safe and effective re-routing of water from the Klerkskraal Dam to the Potchefstroom water purification plant. Note: Since July 2014 the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has changed to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).