REGIONAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN: Integrated Water Resources Development and Management Phase V (2021-2025)


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) water resources are critical for its economy and environment, but these resources are coming under increasing pressure due to a variety of factors including population growth, socio-economic development, and climate change. In 2018, SADC’s population was recorded at 345.2 million (SADC, 2018) and this is expected to increase as urbanisation is forecasted to grow in the region. In addition, it is estimated that 37% of SADC’s population lack access to adequate safe drinking water whilst 63% has no access to adequate sanitation services (SADC, 2016). SADC’s population also comprises of a large rural population with 70% of its rural population relying on groundwater, underscoring the need to manage both surface and groundwater resources in the region. SADC’s water resources are also not evenly distributed across the region and there has been limited and uneven infrastructure development. With the effects of climate change expected to increase, coupled with growing concerns regarding water use and pollution, water availability and water quality are becoming priority issues for the region.