Agricultural Water Demand and Supply, Governance, Conservation, and Implication for ExtensionServices in South Africa: A review

Main Article Content

Gama Bongiwe , Agholor Azikiwe Isaac


Pragmatic changes existed within the regulatory structures and institutionsfor water resource
management in South Africa since 1994. The paper examined the trajectory of agricultural water
demand and supply, governance, conservation, and implication for extension services. Prominent
institutional repositories were consulted for this review including scientific materials obtained from the
online library of various universities by engaging in Online Public Access CatLog (OPAC), Cat Plus
and Digital Collections, and numerous scientific papers and grey literatures. However, the study
answered the following questions:(i) Are there water demand and supply issues in South Africa? (ii)
What are the water conservation approaches used in South Africa? (iii) What are the implications of
water management for agricultural extension service in South Africa? The review nurtures government
confidence in ameliorating management issues and recommended changesto address the financial,
environmental, and capacity limitations inherent in water sector. Though the sector has witnessed
considerable improvement since 1994, the performance of the sector in relation to its objectives have
not been encouraging. The distribution of water for agriculture and industrial uses are still highly uneven
with vagueness and lack of transparency with respect to institutional roles and responsibilities. The
paper, therefore, endorse the up skilling of farmers to minimizing the negative environmental impacts
of irrigation, reducing the production cost, and enhance the sustainability of irrigated farming in South
Africa. Government and extension should do more to support and conscientize farmers towards
appropriate irrigation systems aimed at minimizing water losses. There is a need for sustained efforts
to manage existing water infrastructures by all stakeholders for the benefit of the farming communities. 

Article Details