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Home The River Basin People and the River Governance Resource Management
Resource Management
Water Demand
 Water Demand Management
 Availability of Water
 Water Use & Allocation
 Registration & Allocation
 Environmental Flows
EFR in National Policies
 Environmental Flow Assessment
 EFR in the Basin
 Climate Change & Impact
 Conservation and Re-use
Water Infrastructure
The Value of Water
Resource Monitoring
Research & Development



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Environmental Flows in National Policies  


The environmental flow requirements have not yet been considered in the national policies of Angola.


Namibia began to specify the sustainable use of water resources in socio-economic and environmental terms in its Green Plan in 1992. It mentions the possibility and need for including compensation releases in the environmental assessment of any new project. The revised version of the Green Plan required research that takes account of the entire river downstream of any scheme, not just the part immediately below the scheme and that allowance for controlled releases must be considered for water and hydro-electric schemes on perennial rivers, as well as the seasonal flow requirements of these river systems.

Within Namibia’s Constitution the “environmental clause” provides for the sustainable use of all natural resources. In Article 95 it is stated that ‘the state shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of people by adopting policies aimed at…maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilisation of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future…”.

The draft Environmental Management Act of 1998 emphasizes that “equitable access to sufficient water of ecological systems shall be fulfilled to insure the sustainability of such systems”. This implies that sufficient environmental flows must be made available to maintain aquatic ecosystems.

Environmental Flows in the National Water Policy

The National Water Policy supports the “Principle of Ecosystem Values and Sustainability” which states that the “management of water resources needs to harmonise human and environmental requirements, recognising the role of water in supporting the ecosystem”. The Environmental Water Reserve is specifically included in the “Legislative and Regulatory Principles” stating that: “The legislation will provide for determining an environmental water reserve for freshwater sources before they can be used to supply any other demand than domestic and subsistence livestock watering.”

Water must be allocated to environmental flows if critical ecosystems are to be maintained.
Source: Mengel 2008
( click to enlarge )

Environmental Flows in National Development Plan 2

The second National Development Plan (NDP2) recognizes the importance of ecosystems as legitimate water users that should receive a reasonable allocation of water (GRN, 2002). In comparison, the previous National Development Plan, (NDP1), made neither any mention of the economic and social values of the freshwater environment, nor of the dependence of people on wetland resources (GRN, 1995). Regulations are under development on how to establish the “reserve water resources”. It is assumed that this reserve will be based on the environmental flow requirements and basic human water requirements pertinent to a particular river system or basin.

Responsibility for Setting Environmental Water Allocations

The Ministry is to insure that water resource management works according to the principles of environmental sustainability. The draft bill provides for the establishment of a Water Resources Management Agency and Basin Management Committees. The functions of the proposed Water Resources Management Agency include:- ‘Integrated management of Namibia’s water resources, the collection, analysis and sharing of data concerning the conservation and management of Namibia’s water resources, to guide basin management committees and provide information on shared international water resources to meet obligations under international agreements. e.g. SADC Protocol on Shared Water Resources.

Kunene River downstream Ruacana Falls.
Source: Verelst 2009
( click to enlarge )
Kunene River mouth at low tide.
Source: Bidgee 2007
( click to enlarge )




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