Adaptive capacity and water governance in the Keiskamma River Catchment, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
South Africa, being a semi-arid country, faces water resource constraints. The projected impacts of climate change in the Keiskamma River Catchment, Eastern Cape Province, are, for example, changes in rainfall with effects on streamflow, salt water intrusion, decreasing water quality due to runoff and erosion, and droughts. This paper uses an existing framework, the Adaptive Capacity Wheel (ACW), complemented by two additional dimensions: adaptation motivation and adaptation belief. The objectives were, first, to assess the adaptive capacity of water governance in the study region, and, second, to show how the ACW can be used as an approach and a communication tool with stakeholders to identify strengths and weaknesses. Based on this, recommendations can be drawn that could help water experts and stakeholders in the future. The results depict a ‘medium’ score for adaptive capacity. However, it is important to look closely at each dimension assessed by the ACW. The key recommendations are: to overcome the implementation gap, to ensure better coordination across and within governmental levels; to raise awareness, capacity and skill among decision makers and the public; and to increase the political will to overcome adaptation barriers.
Keywords: adaptive capacity, Adaptive Capacity Wheel (ACW), climate change adaptation, South Africa, water governance