Author(s): Tetsuro Tsujimoto; Satoshi Yamagishi; Masaru Kubota; Junko Sagara
Keywords: Water resources management; Runoff process; Water demand; Urbanization; Wildlife; National park; Sabie River; South Afric
Abstract: Water resources allocation among the environmental needs and human activities is the main focus of this study. In learning from international experiences, we focused on the Sabie River Basin in South Africa, which faces the challenges of balancing the increasing water demands for the upstream development activities with the needs for ecological conservation in the internationally renowned Kruger National Park downstream. The methodology utilized in Sabie River for determining the ecological reserve, water requirement for maintaining the ecological functions, was reviewed, which accounted for the natural flow regime and the responses of geomorphology and various aquatic and riparian species to the flow variability. We also noted the shift in the environmental management of Kruger from controlling the variability to maintaining natural spatial and temporal fluxes by focusing on the reform of Kruger’s water provision policy. There are ongoing efforts in the basin on reallocating water among the wildlife and human activities employing bottom-up cooperative management schemes. Some aspects of the Sabie River experience, including the concept of the reserve for basic human needs and the ecological functions, and determination of the environmental water requirement accounting for flood events and the species and habitats of floodplains can provide some insights to the Japanese water resources management.