A water balance approach to the sustainable management of groundwater in South Africa
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The water balance approach, based on the principles of conservation of mass, is applied to the issue of sustainable groundwater management in South Africa, incorporating the ethos of the National Water Act of 1998, prioritising basic human needs and the needs of aquatic ecosystems over inessential uses. The principle of water balance is described and the benefits (such as prevention of resource misallocation), of applying such an approach to groundwater management, are outlined, with additional practical considerations briefly reviewed. It is hoped that the approach will be tested and refined through application to groundwater case studies.