The riparian countries of the Orange-Senqu River Basin have recognised the risk that water security will place upon regional economic growth and development. Water resources within this basin are a key driver of the collective economic growth of these riparian countries. Developing a basin-wide Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Plan was crucial to enable a common understanding of the resource and its status as a driver of economic growth, and by its transboundary nature requiring joint management and sustainable development. The study was commissioned by the Secretariat of the Orange-Senqu River Basin Commission (ORASECOM) with the support of GIZ to develop a basin wide IWRM plan that would underpin this development.
Together with BRL Ingenerie, we developed the IWRM plan through a series of studies and supporting engagements with stakeholders, both in country and at regional basin-wide sessions that ensured joint decision-making and ownership of the IWRM Plan itself. As co-lead, we assisted in the structuring of the plan and its strategic intent. We also undertook a water in the economy and water footprint analysis as a foundational assessment to inform how water underpins the basin/regional economy. A key part of our role was facilitating stakeholder engagement from all basin states to ensure the development of a IWRM Plan that was robust, rich in diversity and detail, and focused towards advancing pragmatic actions in the basin. ORASECOM is now undertaking a series of interventions towards the implementation of prioritised actions in the IWRM Plan.