Nature & value of aquatic ecosystem services for WMAs

Nature & value of aquatic ecosystem services
Department of Water Affairs
South Africa

Anchor Environmental was commissioned to underake a detailed study of the ecosystem services generated by rivers, wetlands and estuaries in the Olifants, Inkomati and Usutu to Mhlatuze Water Management Areas (WMAs). This study entailed provision of qunatitative estimates of resources, ecosystem characteristics and functions, and their values, which were mapped at the scale of river reaches, and involved collection of biophysical data and surveys households in the communal land areas of the study area, to quantify resource use values, studies of tourism, and hydrological and GIS modelling to estimate the value of ecosystem functions such as flow regulation and water qulaity amelioration. GIS analyses were used to delineate and type the aquatic ecosystems, ecological and social surveys in representative parts of the study area, hydrological modelling, economic analysis, and modeled to extrapolate data to the whole study area. The project outputs are being utilised in the Classification of the Water Management Areas.