Sustainable water resources management: issues and principles of water governance in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Kolawole, Oluwatoyin, D.
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In the recent times, there is an increased awareness about the importance of water management as population growth, new technologies, increased food consumption, land use and economic activities, among others, continue to exacerbate competition among water users in their bid to access natural resources. Thus, water governance encompasses the allocation and management of aquatic resources within the context of a multilayered, competing demand for water resources. Employing a critical review of relevant literature and guided by the legal pluralism conceptual framework and situated within the Dublin water management principles, this article examines key principles and pertinent issues in sustainable water resources management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana; the delta is widely recognized as a wetland of international significance. Findings reveal that demographic and socio-economic factors such as age, education, religion, culture, gender and income play significant roles in household water management decision making. The results also show that although the water legislative environment in Botswana is characterized by outdated Water Acts, efforts and commitment from the government are underway to revise these Acts. This article argues that whilst water research scholars and policymakers continue to make advocacy for water governance at different levels, the local-level water governance needs to be accorded more priority in rural areas in Botswana.
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