South Africa and Zimbabwe to sign a Water Bilateral Agreement
The Minister of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Nomvula Mokonyane will be in Zimbabwe this Friday, 12 December 2014, to cement a Water Bilateral between South Africa and Zimbabwe, our neighbours up north, set to bring more water into the country.
Minister Mokonyane’s visit to Zimbabwe is primarily to attend the Signing Ceremony of the Certified Agreement on the Cooperation on Water Resources Management and the Establishment and Functioning of The Joint Water Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Minister Mokonyane will meet her Zimbabwean counterpart, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Saviour Kasukuwere to move towards the feasibility studies leading to the pumping of water to South Africa.
The signing ceremony between these two countries follows a joint agreement by both respective governments of South Africa and Zimbabwe to undertake a technical study to evaluate the possible water resource developments and transfer options of water from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
The two countries thus opted to sign an Agreement last month, November 2014, after deliberating and agreeing on constructing a pipeline that will draw water from Zambezi River to Cowdray Park in Bulawayo, then right through to South Africa.
This meeting was held in East London in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa during the Gender, Water and Development Conference.
The agreement will adopt a three-phased approach. The first is to determine the viability of water resource development options at reconnaissance level taking into account the latest information on hydrology and environmental needs including identifying options for such water supplies.
Phase 2 is the pre-feasibility study of the preferred options identified in Phase 1 while Phase 3 will be centred on the feasibility study of the preferred options from Phase 2.
This process led the two countries recently entering into an agreement of Cooperation on Water Resources Management and the Establishment of the Joint Water Commission (JWC) to be referred as the Zimbabwe - South Africa JWC (ZRSA JWC).
The function of the established Joint Study Management Committee (JSMC) is to coordinate the implementation of the project.
The objective of the JSMC is to act on behalf of the parties in all matters relating to the oversight and management of the study, submit a report with recommendations to the parties upon finalisation of each phase of the study, and develop the Terms of Reference for each phase of the study.
The countries have also agreed that the decisions of the JSMC will be taken by consensus.
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