Water Futures and Solutions: Options to Enhance Water Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Thokozani Kanyerere
  • Sylvia Tramberend
  • Audrey D. Levine
  • Portia Mokoena
  • Paul Mensah
  • Wisemen Chingombe
  • Jacqueline Goldin
  • Sumbul Fatima
  • Mayank Prakash


Background and Significance of the topic: Water security is one of the greatest health, ecological, environmental, and human rights challenges of our time. Africa sits at the epicenter of this quandary, with the need to build resilience into already over allocated water resources. This chapter focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa and stresses the inter-related physical and social dimensions that underpin water security. The chapter highlights the value of engaging stakeholders through meaningful dialogue towards outcome oriented and adaptable governance strategies. Methodology: A desktop review was conducted to provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities to advance water security in Africa. Application/relevance to systems analysis: While Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) has been adopted to various degrees around the world, it is still in its infancy in sub-Saharan Africa. Additional research, ground-truthing, and on-the-ground field experience are necessary for tailoring IWRM to meet the individual and collective water security challenges that confront Sub-Saharan African countries. Policy and/or practice implications: The feasibility of applying evidence-based decision-making is enhanced by technology developments and advances in data collection, validation, curation, and interoperability. Discussion and conclusion: Water security is a global imperative and sub-Saharan Africa can benefit from ‘lessons learned’ to implement short-term and long-term strategies.



The authors would like to thank the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) of Laxenburg in Austria through the funded joint collaborative capacity building research program of the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) which was designed to develop capacity in systems analysis and expose scholars to an array of additional competencies and skills required to be successful in knowledge-driven societies. The Fulbright Specialist Program also provided collaboration opportunities. The authors appreciate the helpful and thoughtful comments provided by the reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thokozani Kanyerere
    • 1
  • Sylvia Tramberend
    • 2
  • Audrey D. Levine
    • 1
    • 3
  • Portia Mokoena
    • 4
  • Paul Mensah
    • 5
  • Wisemen Chingombe
    • 6
  • Jacqueline Goldin
    • 1
  • Sumbul Fatima
    • 7
  • Mayank Prakash
    • 8
  1. 1.Environmental and Water Sciences Program, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Water ProgramInternational Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  4. 4.Department of Water and SanitationSurface and Groundwater InformationPretoriaSouth Africa
  5. 5.Institute for Water Research, Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  6. 6.School of Biology and Environmental SciencesUniversity of MpumalangaMpumalangaSouth Africa
  7. 7.Aligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia
  8. 8.International Institute for Population ScienceMumbaiIndia

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