The events, which took place near Pretoria, South Africa, 18-22 September, marked the conclusion of this 3-year project.
The Water Research Commission (WRC) Dialogue meeting provided a platform for disseminating the project's findings to a wider audience. The Dialogue was open to academics, policy makers and water managers and practitioners and participation was free of charge. Participants had the opportunity to engage local and international researchers in the social dimension of water management. Students were strongly encouraged to participate.
“The Water Research Commission’s Dialogues are discussion-based events on topical water issues affecting the South African public, the aim of which is to serve as a platform to exchange ideas and opinions related to water. In this regard, the WRC Dialogues are guided by the principles of transparency, openness and honesty; plurality of perspectives and inclusivity, and mutual respect; a commitment to problem-solving and mutual accountability; and in the broader interest of knowledge sharing. The value of the WRC’s role as convenor of these events lies in its ability to be a neutral knowledge broker as South Africa’s premier water knowledge resource” (Source: WRC).
The project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and led by Lyla Mehta, was composed of the following partners:
- Institute of Development Studies, UK
- International Water Management Institute
- Noragric, NMBU
- Norwegian Institute for Water Research
- Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
- University of Zimbabwe
- Wageningen University, Netherlands
Noragric participants were Lyla Mehta (Project Manager, who is based 80% at IDS and 20% at Noragric) and Bill Derman. Previous Noragric postdoc and alumnus, Synne Movik, was also active in the project along with Noragric Masters alumni Kristi Denby and Aurelia van Eeden
About the project
This research sought to link ideas of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as constructed at the European and global levels to their translation into narratives and practices in eastern and southern Africa (Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe).
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has emerged as a key approach in the water sector in the past decade. However, it has not produced the anticipated socio-economic, political and ecological outcomes due to the uncertainty and complexity of river basins and the plural, overlapping and competing formal and informal legal and customary systems in the African context.
The project studied various levels of interaction: key policy events and forums at the international and regional level, in-depth comparative case study of national water reform processes and detailed fieldwork in major river basins in all four countries focusing on 'hotspots'.