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The Upper Orange River Water Resources Affected by Human Interventions and Climate Change | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7587

Hydrology: Current Research
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Research Article

The Upper Orange River Water Resources Affected by Human Interventions and Climate Change

Mahasa Pululu S1*, Palamuleni Lobina G2 and Ruhiiga Tabukeli M2
1Department of Geography, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Qwaqwa Campus, University of the Free State, Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa
2Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental and Health Sciences, Mafikeng Campus, North West University, Mmabatho, South Africa
Corresponding Author : Mahasa Pululu Sexton
Department of Geography
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Qwaqwa Campus, University of the Free State
Private Bag X13, PHUTHADITJHABA 9866, South Africa
Tel: (+27) 58 718 5036
Fax: (+27) 58 718 5055
E-mail: [email protected]
Received August 21, 2015; Accepted September 18, 2015; Published September 27, 2015
Citation: Mahasa Pululu S, Palamuleni Lobina G, Ruhiiga Tabukeli M (2015) The Upper Orange River Water Resources Affected by Human Interventions and Climate Change. Hydrol Current Res 6:212. doi:10.4172/2157-7587.1000212
Copyright: © 2015 Mahasa P, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The major problem in the study area is the unlawful water abstractions for irrigation use. In South Africa, indications show that about 240 million m3/a of illegal water use is due to unauthorised withdrawals or violations of water use licenses. The status of water use for irrigation in the Orange-Senqu Basin also shows that insufficient information exists such that work needs to be done to understand the potential for increased efficiency of water use, taking into account issues pertaining to crop type, soil type and technological options. Studies like this one could also shed light on the potential impact of climate change on water use in the basin as this area may well experience significant impacts from rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns. The processes of validation and verification will determine the extent of existing lawful water use. The use of remote sensing techniques (satellite, aerial photographs, etc.) could be employed to determine if the volume of water use registered by irrigators is accurate, i.e. valid and that the volume of water use registered is lawful (verification). Currently, ecological requirements for the river mouth are met through releases from Vanderkloof Dam and amount to just 290 million m3/a. However several recent studies including the Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit - Integrated Water Resources Management (GIZ – IWRM) study highlight that this is based on a fairly outdated methodology. The more recent Lower Orange Management study found a high level estimate of ecological requirements to be in order of 1 062 million m3/a.