The development of the Orange-Senqu River Basin-Wide Integrated Water Resources Management Plan has been divided into three phases. Phase I was implemented between 2004 and 2007, and focused on collating existing information that then described the water resources of the basin. Topics addressed were:- hydrology and water resource availability; economics and current use of economic tools in water resource management and allocation; demographics, water demand, and water resources development in the basin; water infrastructure in the basin; policy, legal and institutional frameworks related to water resources management in the basin; water quality and pollution; ground water availability and use; and environmental considerations.
Phase II of the IWRM Planning Programme was implemented between 2009 and 2011, and focused on bridging the planning gaps identified in Phase I. The work was divided into six packages as follows:- (i) Assessment and upgrading of the Integrated Orange-Senqu River Basin Model; (ii) Updating and extension of the hydrology; (iii) Assessment of requirements for, and the development of, an Integrated Water Resources Quality Management Plan; (iv) An assessment of the impact of global climate change on the hydro-climatology, water resources, vulnerabilities and adaptation requirements; (v) An assessment of environmental flow requirements; and (vi) An assessment for the potential for water demand management in the irrigation sector.
Phases I and II of the IWRM Planning Programme have been jointly financed by the following international cooperating partners (ICPs) through the German International Cooperation (GIZ):- the German (BMZ), British (UKAID) and the Australian (AusAID) Governments.
In addition a significant number of other studies have been completed or are in process and are going to be building blocks towards the Basin-wide IWRM Plan. These were or are financed by a number of other ICPs including: the European Union (EU), the Global Environment Facility through UNDP (UNDP-GEF) and the French Government (FGEF) together with complementary funding from the Parties.
Strategically, ORASECOM has approached a point where, with some exceptions, sufficient preparatory work has been done to move towards drafting a Basin-wide IWRM Plan. Phase III of the IWRM Plan scheduled for 2012/2013 will consolidate all the work done to date. It will set out the actions necessary to achieve the strategic objectives of ORASECOM. Some of these will be short term and others longer term. The Plan will signify a transition from planning to implementation of the actions that are determined in the Plan.