South Africa is still facing inequities in access to water for productive purposes. Equitable access to water, or to the benefits derived from using water, is critical to eradicating poverty and promoting economic growth. Water Allocation Reform is the Department's key programme for redressing these inequities. The programme aims to:

  • Take steps to meet the water needs of HDIs and the poor;
  • Ensure participation by these groups in water resource management;
  • Promote the sustainable use of water resources; and
  • Promote the beneficial and efficient use of water in the public interest.

Water Allocation Reform includes a number of actions including the provision of financial support to resource poor farmers , compulsory licensing to support the equitable (re)allocation of water in any catchment, and the processing of licences and/or General Authorisations to support the uptake of water by historically disadvantaged people.

This website provides more information on how this will be done.



  > Awareness Material
  > How is water use authorised?   > Extra Reading
  > How are licences processed?   > Case Studies
  > What is compulsory licensing?   > Useful Links
  > What are the "rules" for the reallocation of water?   > Screening Tool
  > What is beneficial use in the public interest?   > How much water is
available in South Africa
  > What are general authorisations?   > FAQ
  > How do we determine the extent of existing lawful water use?    
  > Contact Us