The Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA) is one of the 13 regional networks of the international network – The Global Water Partnership created to foster an integrated approach to water resources management (IWRM). Its vision is for a water secure world. GWPSA offers practical advice for sustainably managing water resources specifically to 15 countries in the SADC region. GWPSA manages activities and convenes stakeholders in the SADC Region and at Pan-African level to address specific issues on water security and related issues. The network brings about solutions that are both tailored to local conditions and informed by local experiences and good practices from across the continent. The neutral platforms that the network offers allow practitioners and professionals to discuss and analyse the various elements of the Integrated Water Resources Management policy related process, and facilitates the prioritisation of actions aimed at improving water governance and management, as well as engage with a broader community for the solution of water related problems (such as climate change, urbanisation etc).

The Challenge
Water security in southern Africa encapsulates global pressures on water: rapid population growth, enduring and drought-induced sporadic food shortage, growing water scarcity and energy security problems coincident with rising demand, trans-boundary and regional allocation issues, and a strongly variable climate that will likely become drier and more variable in the future. These challenges are exacerbated by political, institutional and economic factors, including limited management and regulatory capacity, and highly inequitable access to reliable potable water.

Operations and Action

GWPSA provides technical expertise and convening power by bringing together diverse stakeholders who can contribute to the social and political change processes that help bring the vision of a water secure world closer to realism. Working under the mission “to advance governance and management of water resources for sustainable and equitable development, GWPSA’s work is structured into three strategic goals:

  1. Catalyse Change in Policies and Practise
  2. Generate and Communicate Knowledge
  3. Strengthen Partnerships

Six thematic areas

As such, GWPSA’s most important tasks are Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing built around the six thematic areas with local, national, regional, and Pan-African initiatives.  

  1. Climate change
  2. Food security
  3. Urbanisation
  4. Transboundary waters
  5. Ecosystems
  6. Energy security

Cross-cutting issues include:

  1. Support for gender mainstreaming in water management
  2. Support for youth and young water professionals

Programmes Areas:

GWPSA operates with Country Partners & strategic partners through thematic programmes. Currently these include:

The Water Climate and Development Programme (An African Ministers Council on Water Initiative)

Supporting the implementation of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management