Supervisors:Prof C.G. Palmer, Dr Sukhmani Mantel and Dr Victor Munnik
Degree: MSc (Water Resource Science)
Working title of thesis: A critical exploration of the development of an integrated, participative, water quality management process for the Crocodile River Catchment, focusing on the sugar industry
Year of Registration: 2014
Water quality deterioration is reaching crisis proportions in South Africa. Many South African catchments are over-allocated, and decreasing volumes of source water mean increasing
concentration of pollutants. Low source water quality is becoming a critical risk in terms of costs and productivity to many industries in the Crocodile River Catchment in Mpumalangaprovince, South Africa. Specific in this study, it reduces the productivity of sugar cane and this is a risk to the export quality of sugar. In order to address this problem there is a need to develop a co-operative process that will assist with compliant control of water
use and waste disposal in the catchment. This will reduce costs of enforcement, and industrial risks will decrease as water quality compliance, and therefore source water quality improves.
The sugar industry is downstream within the catchment and thus affected by the activities of upstream water users, and dependent on the stakeholders upstream participating in the effective
management of the resource. This study examines how the sugar industry can contribute to the development of an integrated water quality management process to secure their water needs. The
study will also describe the disturbances within the sugar industry activity system in relation to the development of the integrative water quality management process for the catchment. This
research contributes to a larger project with the aim of building a co-operative, implemented and integrated water quality management process (IWQMP) in the Crocodile River Catchment.