Awareness of the National Water Act requirements within the Viljoenskroon rural farming community in the Free State Province
The aim of this research was to measure the awareness of the Viljoenskroon rural farming community of the Section 21 requirements of the National Water Act. The National Water Act has specific regulations regarding the Section 21 water usages and the relevant applications and licensing. The Literature and Research on environmental awareness has revealed that the implementation of legal requirements is only possible if individuals are aware of what is required of them. For this study, the main objective was to assess and measure the awareness levels of the National Water Act by the rural farming community in the Viljoenskroon area. We looked at knowledge and skill of the individuals within the defined farming community, in order to determine the level of awareness of the National Water Act. The tools used are for studies performed to measure awareness in the Baltic Sea area, India and the IUCN Programme Office for the Southern Caucasus. An individual structured interview questionnaire was used. The questionnaire looked at demographic information, activity baselines, National Water Act awareness, awareness of the Impact of farming on the environment, and water challenges of farmers. The questionnaire provided relevant and valid data which showed that the individuals in the community have little or no knowledge of the National Water Act. It is noted that often they had specialists who dealt with aspects related to water usage. The information collected may be useful to determine a method for the relevant departments to initiate programmes to ensure that the legal requirements of the Section 21 water uses be implemented. Further to this, general information about The Water Act could be made available to the general public.