Auditing and optimisation of groundwater monitoring programmes and networks. Expansion of national network coverage and gradual upgrade to a national real time monitoring network.
The on-going provision of technical and scientific support for groundwater development and integrated water resource management (allocation, conservation, resource directed measures, water quality management) at all levels.
The on-going development and maintenance of a national groundwater information system, its population with data of best possible quality, establishment of appropriate national standards in support of integrated water resource management.
The core function is to support the Regions in the creation of their Regional Groundwater Master Plans (RGMP).
RGMP are used to identify the shortcomings and actions needed to improve the data and information about groundwater in each Region. RGMP are used to describe projects to address shortcomings. These RGMP are seen as indispensable to improve the image of groundwater. A framework for the approach to such Regional Groundwater Master Plans[PDF - 61 KB] has been developed and can be downloaded for viewing.
The main functions of the GWRR are to develop policies, strategies and guidelines towards the protection of groundwater resources through the determination of the
groundwater component of the Reserve.
Before water can be allocated for any other use, a preliminary Reserve, Strategic use, International obligations and General Authorization, have to be set aside. Of importance is the groundwater Reserve, which needs to be determined to ensure that some groundwater is available for Basic Human Needs and the Ecological Water Requirements.
Groundwater component of the Reserve can be initiated through priority list set by the Water Resource Planning Directorate, or can be initiated at the request of the Regional Office.
GWRR support the Regional Offices (RO), through their requests, with Groundwater Reserve determination studies. Such studies establish whether the groundwater demand is exceeded by groundwater availability. In such instances, compulsory water use licensing will follow to reconcile access between different water users to distribute available groundwater resources equitably.
Alternatively, Regional Offices can request for the Reserve determination to ensure that there is still groundwater to be allocated to other users. However, Regional Offices need to monitor if there are no cumulative impacts such that the determined Reserve is not impacted upon.
Although there is General Authorization set for every five years since 1999, to ease access to groundwater without applying for a water use licence, it is imperative for RO to ensure that General Authorization is not used by unregistered users. This
can in the long run prove detrimental to groundwater Reserve, where the latter has priority over all other uses.
To develop policies, strategies and guidelines for the assessment, planning and management and modification; to support planning decision support needs and water resource management objectives. To render specialist project and management support at strategic level with regards to conjunctive use, thereby enhancing our limited water resources.