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Prospects for agricultural water management
The irrigation potential of Swaziland is being increased by construction of small and large dams. The construction of the Maguga dam along the Komati river and the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Scheme will lead to the development of a total of 17 500 ha for irrigation within the next 5 years.
The existing policy framework in the country is fundamentally flawed and not conducive to the management of water resources. In an attempt to improve the policy framework the MNRE tabled the Water Bill of 2001 in parliament, to replace the Water Act of 1967 as well as to consolidate the pieces of legislation found in different acts and orders. The bill was approved by parliament in 2002, and received the King’s assent in April 2003. The new Water Act seeks to streamline the water allocation process, and to increase the role played by water users in the use and management of water resources. It also calls for the establishment of a National Water Authority (NWA), River Basin Authorities and Water User Associations, which will help in enhancing public involvement in water resources management, and also includes the private sector as a partner in water development. A draft irrigation policy is at present under preparation, with the assistance of FAO.