Also, the need to promote awareness of the benefits of conserving river biodiversity within the water management areas of the lowveld will be important. Here, TPCs could provide pertinent ecological information to determine if adaptive management targets are being met or not. Consequently, SAM of water resources in the water management areas is probably the best system to manage these complex socio-ecological systems, but SAM is relatively new and untested in South Africa. |
Kruger is committed to improving the SAM system for rivers within the Kruger National Park, with TPC implementation important. Lessons learnt in Kruger will potentially provide an important precedent for other institutions needing to manage rivers throughout water management areas of the lowveld and wider in South Africa.Importantly, Kruger recognises the need to integrate and contribute to other catchment level initiatives. Some are aiming to understand and quantify the value of ecosystem services provided by freshwater ecosystems, while others are furthering understanding about issues of compliance for achieving flow and water quality requirements of rivers, both locally and internationally. Mozambique’s requirement for water allocations downstream of Kruger will also need to be factored in because of associated impacts.For example, planned raising of the Massingir Dam wall on the Olifants River just east of Kruger will change the flow/sediment regime along the river section a few kilometres inside of Kruger. Bedrock-associated habitats will be lost through permanent flow inundation. Among others, this will negatively impact the Nile crocodile, which is abundant in these parts.
Overall, working towards cooperation and compliance with the Water Act throughout the region will go along way for achieving biodiversity goals along the rivers traversing the Kruger National Park, and further outside.