The Regional Water Policy for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is aimed at providing a framework for sustainable, integrated and coordinated development, utilisation, protection and control of national and transboundary water resources in the SADC region. This policy is intended to support the SADC Common Agenda of socio-economic development and regional integration and improvement of the quality of life of all people in the region.
The policy was formulated through a highly participatory and consultative process, implemented over a period of 12 months, involving diverse stakeholders including senior government officials from ministries dealing with economics, law, water resources, agriculture, energy, and environment. Other stakeholders included academic and research institutions, private companies, consultants in various disciplines, as well as representatives of local and regional NGOs, and community leaders.
This policy includes nine (9) thematic areas, addressing key water resources management issues and challenges:
1. Regional Cooperation in Water Resources Management: including policy provisions on water for regional integration and socio-economic development; cooperation in water resources management of shared watercourses; inter-sectoral and international cooperation; and the harmonisation of national policies and legislation.
2. Water for Development and Poverty Reduction: containing policy provisions on water for basic human needs and for industrial development; water for food and energy security.
3. Water for Environmental Sustainability: containing policy provisions on water and the environment, water quality management, and control of alien invasive species in watercourses.
4. Security from Water-related Disasters: including policy provisions covering people?s protection from water related disasters; disaster prediction, and management and mitigation.
5. Water Resources Information and Management: covering data and information acquisition and management; and information sharing.
6. Water Resources Development and Management: including policy provisions on a river basin approach; integrated planning; dams and dam management; water demand management; and alternative sources of water
7. Regional Water Resources Institutional Framework: including policy provisions covering institutional arrangements at regional and national levels and for Shared Watercourse Institutions (SWCIs).
8. Stakeholder Participation and Capacity Building: including provisions focusing on participation and awareness creation; capacity building and training; gender mainstreaming; and research, technology development and transfer.
9. Financing integrated water resources management in the region.