6 May, 2018
Press Release : Agri SA Launches Water Desk
3 May 2018 Agri SA announced that that it had formally
launched a dedicated Water Desk that will focus on the need
to ensure equitable access to water for farmers across South
Africa. This initiative is in response to a host of external
challenges facing agricultural water users, including severe
drought, climate change and under-maintained infrastructure.
The situation is all the more urgent given several policy
proposals that may simultaneously increase the cost of water
while reducing the availability to agricultural users.
Agri SA Water Desk will, amongst other things, focus on
water policy and legislative proposals such as the draft
National Water and Sanitation Master Plan and the National
Water Resource Strategy. The current amendments to the
National Water Act, for example, will determine the cost of
water for agricultural users, which is why it is necessary
to engage with government and other key stakeholders from
the start to work towards a fair outcome. The Agri SA Water
Desk will also give inputs to the Water Research Commission
(WRC) on research priorities and will act as a forum for top
water experts to share their insights in a meaningful way.
Agri SA Water Desk will be led by Janse Rabie, an
environmental lawyer and Head of Agri SA's Natural Resources
Centre of Excellence and Gregory Smith, a water scientist. "The
Agri SA Water Desk will be a one-stop-shop for Agri SA
members, where they can get up to date information and
advice on all things water-related," said Janse Rabie.
"Given the complexity of water rights and the
fast-changing policy environment, we believe that a
dedicated Water Desk is the best way to enable
agricultural water users to stay abreast of all legal
developments which will have an impact on the way they
farm and do business."
SA is at the forefront of legislative and policy
development regarding the water sector in South Africa.
Agri SA strives to support government in this fundamental
area through collaboration with key stakeholders and
timely and well-researched inputs to policy development,"
said Dan Kriek, President of Agri SA.
SA invites its members, and interested parties, to contact
the Agri SA Water Desk to find out how they can get
Janse Rabie (Head of Natural Resources)
074 451 9601
Gregory Smith (Research Associate)
084 214 1151
Source: Agri SA