Investment Strategy for the Cross-Cutting Domain: Water and the Environment
June 2004

Report No KV148/041



The Water Research Commission (WRC) is a dynamic hub for water-centred knowledge, innovation and intellectual capital, providing leadership for research and development through the support of knowledge creation, transfer and application. The WRC engages stakeholders and partners in solving water-related problems that are critical to South Africa’s sustainable development and economic growth, and are committed to promoting a better quality of life for all.

The WRC vision is to be a globally recognised leader in providing innovative solutions for sustainable water management that meet the changing needs of society and of the environment.

As stated in its core strategy the WRC will continue to focus on building a sustainable water-related knowledge base in South Africa by:

The core strategy of the WRC calls for specific mechanisms to address key strategic issues of national importance; these are dealt with in four crosscutting domains that have been established specifically for this purpose. During 2002/2003 the importance of these issues was highlighted when they emerged as major issues in the WSSD agenda and the newly developed agenda for NEPAD. These domains form integrating frameworks that cut across the Key Strategic Areas (KSAs) and draw together ongoing programmes and projects within the portfolios of each of the KSAs, and address issues relevant to the domains. The crosscutting domains may also drive specific programmes and/or projects that are overarching and relate to all KSAs in a more general manner.

The crosscutting domains address the following key issues:

This document provides the strategic context for the Water and Environment domain and describes the proposed investment framework for this domain. The document comprises four sections plus two appendices: Section 1 places the Water and Environment domain within the overall strategy of the WRC and outlines the rationale and scope of the research needs to be addressed. Section 2 lists the principles, objectives and proposed success criteria that form the operating model for the domain. Section 3 presents the investment framework down to research programme level, whilst Section 4 charts the way forward. Appendix 1 consists of a description of the process followed in drafting this strategy, whilst Appendix 2 contains a copy of the background paper that was circulated to the individuals who were invited to participate in the strategy development process. Appendix 3 contains the preliminary list of issues identified as priorities for future research in Thrust 1 (Environmental functioning), and presented as research questions.