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Stalemate of the hydrological master variable? The challenge of implementing environmental flows in the Orange-Senqu basin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Andre Mueller, Naho Mirumachi, David Tickner, Delana Louw, Derek Weston

Original languageEnglish
Early online date10 Dec 2021
Accepted/In press7 Nov 2021
E-pub ahead of print10 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • 02508060.2021.2004529

    02508060.2021.2004529.pdf, 1.62 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:11 Dec 2021

    Version:Final published version

King's Authors


In the face of declining rivers globally, the flow regime as the key hydrological determinant for healthy freshwater ecosystems is receiving unprecedented attention. This study investigates the challenge of implementing environmental flows in the Orange–Senqu basin in Southern Africa by assessing progress and its key factors during 1998 and 2013. Based on 22 interviews, the study shows that despite an advanced understanding of e-flows and its requirements, there have been effective implementation actions in only a few river systems to give effect to these e-flow requirements. Ineffective implementing institutions and a challenging basin context are more responsible than largely sufficient policies and legislation.

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