Rivers, Catchments and Water Usage

The maps below show water resource data for the local municipalities within the provinces that are part of the LGCCS program. Click on the “plus” sign to expand each section.

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The map below shows the locations of dams within the District Municipalities of South Africa. This map includes 144 unique dams which are categorised as either Natural, Reservoir, Island or Sewage. Click here for an interactive map:

Source: Department of Water Affairs (DWA), 2006. Dams and Lakes (vector geospatial dataset). Available from the SARVA website.


The following map shows the perennial, non-perennial and dry rivers in South Africa. Click here for an interactive map:

Source: The Resource Quality Information Services river coverage is a South African surface drainage network for GIS, originally based on a 1994 1:500 000 rivers coverage from the Chief Directorate of National Geo-spatial Information. Available from the DWS website.

Water management areas

The National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) made a provision for the establishment of catchment management areas (CMAs) to take responsibility for the management of water resources at a regional level, in South Africa. In 2004, in the National Water Resources Strategy, the establishment of 19 CMA was proposed. After assessing the viability of 19 CMAs, for the National Water Resources Strategy 2 (2013), it was decided that the 19 CMAs should be reduced to nine and they should be linked to the nine water management areas (WMAs) in South Africa. To achieve the aim of combining the CMAs and WMAs, and to improve integrated management, the boundaries of the nine WMAs were adjusted to match the boundaries of the nine CMAs, to fast-track the establishment of the CMAs. The map below shows the nine WMAs in South Africa, which are the: Limpopo, Olifants, Inkomati-Usuthu, Pongola-Umzimkulu, Vaal, Orange, Mzimvubu-Tsitsikamma, Breede-Gouritz, and Berg-Olifants water management areas. Click here for an interactive map:

Source: Source: South African National Biodiversity Institute. Strategic Water Source Areas [vector geospatial dataset] 2013. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website.

Freshwater ecosystem priority areas - River condition

The map below shows the Freshwater ecosystem Priority Areas for river ecosystems in South Africa with particular focus on river condition (RIVCON). RIVCON is divided into the following categories: A = unmodified and natural, B = Largely natural with few modifications, AB = A or B above, C = Moderately modified, D = Largely modified, E = Seriously modified, F = Critically/extremely modified, EF = E or F above, Z = Tributary condition modeled as not intact, according to natural land cover. Click here for an interactive map:

Source: South African National Biodiversity Institute. NFEPA Rivers [vector geospatial dataset] 2011. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website.