Strategic Water Source Areas are national assets

17 March 2014

Looking at a spillage from the Katse Dam wall, one can understand why the Basotho hail water as “White Gold”. South Africa exchanges millions of rands for water with the mountain kingdom of Lesotho monthly to supply the water-stressed industrial hub of Gauteng and other areas that don’t have sufficient water sources.

Strategic Water Sources Areas (SWSAs)  are simply areas that supply areas of geographic interest with a varying amount of water, for example the Maloti Drakensburg in Lesotho supplies South Africa’s Gauteng province with water through a tunnel that is 82 km long. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has run a project that illustrates this by indicating an area’s nearest water source area. To find your nearest water source area, go to

Various institutions that regard SWSAs as national assets crucial for South Africa’s water security have initiated various projects to highlight this. According to research that was carried out by WWF South Africa with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to assess where most of our [South Africa’s] water comes from, “only 8% of the land area across South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland produces 50% of our surface run-off”. The research highlights 21 areas as SWSAs.

The BGIS website which is regarded by many as the central hub for the management and dissemination of biodiversity planning and related spatial information has a number of water datasets.

Strategic Water Sources Areas (SWSAs)
NFEPA wetlands
NFEPA wetland clusters
NFEPA rivers
Sub water management area FEPAs
Water management area FEPAs
NFEPA fish sanctuaries
NFEPA fish sanctuaries (all species)
NFEPA wetlands vegetation
NFEPA groundwater recharge



    Strategic Water Source Areas of Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa




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Submitted by Realeboha at 20/03/2014 - 16:31
wow! nice and good, well written

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