Strategic guidance for securing hydrological ecosystem services in South Africa

Client name
Water Research Commission
South Africa

Anchor undertook a research project with the overall aim to provide strategic guidance for future initiatives to secure hydrological ecosystem services in South Africa, based on an improved understanding of the potential opportunity and viable approaches for investing in hydrological ecosystem services. This involved (a) reviewing the different types of financing mechanisms for securing hydrological ecosystem services and the institutional, legal, policy and socio-economic factors that have contributed to their success or failure; (b) determining the cost effectiveness of investing in catchment restoration in key water supply areas of South Africa by comparing the costs and benefits associated with invasive alien plant (IAP) clearing to that of planned built infrastructure augmentation projects; (c) investigating the extent to which further funds could be leveraged from household water users to finance catchment restoration and conservation; and (d) developing a framework for guiding viable approaches for securing hydrological ecosystem services in different catchments areas. The work was validated through two national stakeholder workshops.