The 6th IASTED African Conference on
Environment and Water Resource Management
AfricaEWRM 2016

September 5 – 7, 2016
Gaborone, Botswana


Water to the People or People to The Water: Water Transfer Schemes in Southern Africa.

Dr. Hillary Masundire
University of Botswana, Botswana


Availability of surface water used to be a critical determinant for human settlement. This is probably why about 85% of Botswana is settled in the Limpopo Basin. Other population centres like Maun and Kasane-Kazungula are also associated with perennial sources of surface water. Other factors such as disease and high temperature may have also influenced human settlement notwithstanding availability of surface water.
In recent years, technology has made it possible for humans to modify the environment. Such modifications include water resources infrastructure developments such as dams and water transfers. These have it possible for humans to bring water to the people rather than people going to where the water is. This offers opportunities for design and construction engineers as well as opening business opportunities. However, this is not without problems and challenges.
This paper highlights some of the ecological social challenges arising from water transfers, whether intra- or inter-basin transfers. These include effects on ecological/environmental flows in rivers, species introductions and productivity of affected aquatic ecosystems. Focus will be on how water transfers may affect the generation and provision of ecosystem services. One challenge to be discussed is: should we move water to the people or people to the water?

Biography of the Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Portrait

Hillary Masundire is a national of Zimbabwe who has lived and worked in Botswana since 1994. Prior to this he was on the staff of the University of Zimbabwe and worked at the University Lake Kariba Research Station. He is a freshwater ecologist and has worked on various aspects of ecology including wetlands ecology and management, water quality, ecosystem management and is currently actively engaged in climate change research as well as research on environmental flows. He served as the first African global Chair of an IUCN Commission as the Chair of the Commission on Ecosystem Management. He is currently the Regional Chair.