Sustainable groundwater use, the capture principle, and adaptive management

  • P Seward
  • Y Xu
  • L Brendonck


The purpose of this paper is to review the case for using ‘capture\' rather than recharge as the conceptual basis for sustainable groundwater use in South Africa. Capture refers to the sum of the increase in recharge and decrease in discharge brought about by pumping. Definitions of sustainability are reviewed, and the capture process is outlined. Implications for using the capture principle in the implementation of the NWA are discussed, and adaptive management is proposed as an appropriate management approach. Implications for groundwater monitoring are also discussed. Case studies are described that support the need for adaptive management and the application of the capture principle.

Water SA Vol.32 (4) 2006: pp.473-482

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0378-4738