A NATION’S RANSOM: RECOVERING SUFFICIENT REVENUE FROM THE WATER PRICE
Mark Botha and John Dini
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

 

Abstract
The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) is revising the water pricing strategy. Even though earlier versions catered for recovering a charge for invasive alien plant (IAP) control, several factors confounded this mechanism for financing conservation. First, the scope of the charge was limited to invasive plants, and not the full suite of ecological restoration actions – many of which are likely to be more important in managing water resources. Second, funds were limited to new activities, and not for maintenance of healthy, functioning ecosystems. Third, the actual costing of IAP control was conservative, poorly recovered from water users, and often not transferred between departments to actual fund implementation projects. SANBI and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) have been engaging with the pricing strategy revision to broaden the scope of activity for which funds can be recovered from water users, and to improve activity costing and administration of revenue to ensure more resources are available. Initial results seem positive, including the inclusion of using natural infrastructure improvement schemes to augment or delay engineering solutions in situations where the former are cost-effective. On-going challenges are likely to be: insufficient calculation of the ecosystem restoration and maintenance component; under-recovery from users; and building implementation models – at the catchment level – that focus on hydrological and ecosystem outcomes above all.

 

Presentation Topic
A NATION’S RANSOM: RECOVERING SUFFICIENT REVENUE FROM THE WATER PRICE
Contact Mr Botha:
Email Mark Botha