Decision support Tools


The Consortium formed by the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) and CIRAD , with the collaboration of IWMI and CEMAGREF , formulated and implemented the project titled "Tools and methodologies for the sustainable establishment of decentralised water management institutions in South Africa". This project was funded jointly by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of France. The first two-year phase ended in March 2003. The second phase (2004-2006) is currently underway.

The Context

The National Water Act of SA sets out a framework for the establishment of new and decentralised water management institutions, including Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and Water Users' Associations (WUAs). The core purpose of these entities is to ensure the sustainable and equitable allocation and use of water resources as guided by the Act and its principles of equity, efficiency, sustainability and representativity. In the process of implementing the new Water Act, the potential for emergence of public policy networks composed of the CMAs on the one side and, on the other, WUAs is observable. The current context in which these structures are emerging is seldom favourable because of the following: lack of information amongst certain stakeholders, lack of knowledge and skills about collective resource management, pre-existing conflicting interests on the scarce resource between users, etc.

Objectives of the Project

The overall objective of this research programme is to support the sustainable establishment of decentralised water management institutions (CMAs and WUAs) as negotiation and decision-making entities on water resource management at basin level. Specific tools are tested and adapted to facilitate the set up of management rules and to organise the negotiation process itself. The programme also aims at providing training on specific approaches and tools of relevance to staff members of research institutions and water management and policy agencies. Accordingly, the program has Research and Training components.


The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
French Ministry of National Education, Research and Youth

Project Team

Prof. Rashid Hassan (Principal Investigator, South Africa)
Dr. Stefano Farolfi (Principal Investigator, France)
Mr. Benjamin Mattondo Banda (Research Assistant)

Tel ++27 12 420 4659
Fax ++27 12 420 4958
Agricultural Annex Building, office 2-3, University of Pretoria, 0002 Pretoria, South Africa

Institutional and Scientific Partners

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), South Africa
Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa
Research Centre for Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (CEMAGREF), France
International Water Management Institute (IWMI), South Africa
Council for Scientific Innovation and Research (CSIR), South Africa


Various training activities are carried in support of building capacity among water resource managers, policy makers and researchers.

Training Workshops and Dissemination Seminars

  1. Launching and project planning seminar with stakeholders. Pretoria, October 17-18, 2001.
    (CMA workshop2001)
  2. Water Management Policy, Tools and Institutions in SA: Learning from the French experience of the Agences de l'eau. Pretoria, October 1- 4, 2002.
    (CMA workshop2002)
  3. Presentation and discussion of the AWARE approach, Pretoria - DWAF Offices, 13 February 2003
    (CMA workshop 2003)
  4. Collaboration to the international workshop "Water resource management for local development: governance, institutions and policies". Loskop Dam, South Africa, November 8-11, 2004.
    (WRM workshop 2004)

Exchange Training and Research Visits

As part of the project efforts to support capacity in this area, an exchange program of visits between CEEPA and CIRAD has been implemented. This involves exchange visits by trainees and experts from CIRAD and CEEPA for short durations of stay at either institution for various training and research purposes. The following individuals participated in and benefited from this program:

Wendy Engel, Ceepa (SA), October 2001
Mampiti Matete, Ceepa (SA), October 2001
Phyndile Mbuli, Ceepa (SA), October 2001
Lwandle Mqadi, Ceepa (SA), February-July 2002
Louise Erasmus , University of Pretoria (SA), July 2002-August 2003
Johanna Mapula, Ceepa (SA), August 2002-August 2003
Pierre Bommel, Cirad (F), September-October 2002
Sylvain Irrmann, Agence de l'eau RMC (F), October 2002
Sylvie Morardet, Cemagref (F), October 2002
James Juana, Ceepa (SA), February-May 2003
Jacqueline Myburg, Ceepa (SA), February-August 2003
Pierre Forgereau, INAPG (F), May-September 2003
Sicengile Ntsingila, Ceepa (SA), January-July 2004
Benjamin Mattondo Banda, Ceepa (SA), May 2004-September 2005
Janine Jacobs, University of Pretoria (SA), June-November 2004
Bruno Bonté, Ecole des Mines Douai (F), April-September 2005


A number of research investigations are undertaken under this project using the Olifants River basin of South Africa as the case study area. Research activities focus on two main areas. The first makes use of complex systems' approaches to water resources management such as the Multi-agent systems (MAS) and System dynamic models (SDM).
The second main area of research relates to the economics and policy aspects of water management, which include demand management, valuation of water resources and analysis of water use efficiency.


Hassan, R - Farolfi S (2005) "Water value, resource rent recovery and economic welfare cost of environmental protection: A water-sector model for the Steelpoort sub-basin in South Africa", in : Water SA, Vol. 31, n. 1, 2005, p. 9-16

Farolfi S - Hassan R - Perret S - MacKay E (2004) "A role-playing game to support multi-stakeholder negotiations related to water allocation in South Africa: first applications and potential developments", Proceeding of the conference : Water Resources as Ecosystems: Scientists, Government and Society at the Crossroads, Midrand, 5-7 July Text

Banda B - Farolfi S - Hassan R (2004) "Determinants of Quality and Quantity Values of Water for Domestic Uses in the Steelpoort Sub-Basin: A Contingent Valuation Approach", proceedings of the conference : Water Management for Local Development , Loskop Dam, 8-11 November

Farolfi S - Hassan R M (2003) "Aware: a decision support tool towards decentralised water management in South Africa", proceedings of the International Conference "Water Governance and Sustainable Development", Sousse (Tunisia) 9-10 October Text

Farolfi, S. (2003). "Action research for the development of a decision support tool towards decentralised water management in South Africa" Working paper n. 2004-01, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Pretoria.

Farolfi S - Perret S (2002) "Inter-sectoral competition for water allocation in rural South Africa: Analysing a case study through a standard environmental economics approach", Proceedings of the XXXIX Conference of the Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), Florence, 12-14 September


Demo Versions of the model AWARE © and the Role-Playing Game AWARE © can be requested sending an Email to