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The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will be marking the World Water Day from 18 – 24 March under the national theme of ‘Access to safe water by 2030 – possible through nature’. The national theme incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals with the aspirations of the Constitution of South Africa, whilst keeping the international theme.

During the 2018 celebrations of National Water Week, the Department takes note of the global climate change challenges which are reshaping the way in which one thinks about themselves, the societies as well as humanity`s place on earth. Climate change is the environmental phenomenon, which has exacerbated the drought engulfing the country with at least three provinces namely Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape recognized as provinces that require urgent drought support and intervention.

Climate change is one of the leading environmental conundrums faced in the 21st century. Its effects on the environment and human health are beyond imagination. Climate change also adds stress on the water sector, by affecting the quality of water and further reducing the availability of the already limited resource.

Climate change is a global problem requiring global solutions, achieved through the concerted and cooperative efforts of all countries. As a result, in 2011 the National Climate Change Response (NCCR) White Paper was approved by cabinet, which sets out the overall National Government response to the challenges of climate change. The NCCR decreed that all government departments to review their policies, strategies, legislations, regulations and plans within two years of its adoption.

In response, the Department of Water and Sanitation as the custodian of South Africa’s water resource took a cue from COP17 and the National Climate Change Response White Paper in responding to this global phenomenon, by drafting the Water and Sanitation Sector Policy on Climate change.

This Policy advocates four different policy positions for the sector, which include:

  • Adaptation

  • The role of Water and Sanitation in Mitigation

  • Mainstreaming Climate Change into the Sector and

  • Reviewing costs and subsidies.

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