© 2019

Water as an Inescapable Risk

Current Global Water Availability, Quality and Risks with a Specific Focus on South Africa


  • Up to date quantitative and qualitative evaluation of freshwater resources’ availability and quality of South Africa and its WMAs

  • Establishment of water as a global, regional and national risk with current water-related risks in terms of environmental, social and economic spheres with examples

  • Identification of high water risk areas within South Africa as well as evaluation of current water diplomacy with the use of a unique case study

  • General and context specific resolutions for the region’s water challenges in terms of water availability and quality

  • Inform water management in similar situations but in different regions of the world as the water quality challenges faced within South Africa are similar to other regions across the globe. The case studies can therefore be used as examples within other regions which experience similar water management challenges


Part of the Springer Water book series (SPWA)

About this book


The book presents an interdisciplinary systematic evaluation of increasing water stress and scarcity over the globe and specifically South Africa. South Africa is used as the prime example as the country is experiencing similar water challenges in terms of availability and quality as most regions across the globe.


Water availability is predominantly used to illustrate water scarcity however, continued degradation of the world’s freshwater resources, by a multitude of natural and anthropogenic factors, have consequently exacerbated water stress and scarcity due to it being of insufficient quality for various uses. The increase of water scarcity through both natural and anthropogenic factors has in turn led to water being viewed as an increasing risk within all spheres. Water as a source of conflict has come to the forefront especially within regions which struggle to meet the increasing demands from different water users and trying to achieve future sustainability of the resource.


The increase of water scarcity and stress as well as the continued pressure of population and economic growth has brought various new challenges into play. This book focuses on water as an increasing risk over the globe and specifically South Africa by reviewing both water availability and quality, evaluating water as a global and national risk. The book concludes by focusing on current limitations, necessary strategic actions as well as possible policy-related changes which may be required to adapt to future water challenges and to lessen water as an increasing risk.


Water-related Risks Water Scarcity Water Conflicts Water Diplomacy Limitations and Opportunities

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, School of Ecological and Human SustainabilityUniversity of South AfricaJohannesburgSouth Africa

About the authors

​Anja du Plessis completed her doctorate at the University of Johannesburg and is currently a senior lecturer at the University of South Africa. Her research is focused upon the challenges, risks and possible opportunities which the southern African region faces in terms of surface water availability and quality and have worked as a consultant in this regard. She aims to complete further research and consultation within the southern African region regarding possible future water-related risks and opportunities for various sectors.

Bibliographic information

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