Water Resource Management and Livelihoods

Mr Scherzer has been involved in a number of water resource and catchment management projects.  These range from investigating optimum dam locations for water resource storage and inter-catchment transfers, to groundwater and surface resource conservation and use.  Two projects are highlighted below:

Implementation of the Community Empowerment Strategy to support the Draft Water Allocation Plan for the Mhlathuze Catchment

Mr Scherzer was Project Manager for a 12-month DIFD funded project aimed at empowering and involving all rural communities in the Mhlathuze river catchment during the water resource allocation process.

Mr Scherzer developed suitable presentations and awareness material to promote an understanding of catchment resource management and potential economic opportunities available. Thereafter he held meetings with community groups and other stakeholders throughout the year to identify opportunities.

This project included mapping and investigating irrigation, forestry and other business opportunities within the catchment in location to community groups and seeking how these groups may be able to realise these opportunities.  He was then  required to identify constraints that could prevent the future successful uptake of these allocated water supplies and prepare development pathways for long term monitoring and support of the community participation.

Isimangaliso Wetland Park/GEF: Agricultural and forestry land and water use within the Zone of Influence (2010 – 2011)

The Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, as part of a GEF funded programme, wished to understand the historical change in agricultural and forestry land-use within the buffer zone of the World Heritage Site. Mr Scherzer was appointed as the Environmental and Land-Use specialist to map these historical changes.

This involved scanning over 1000 orthophotos from three separate periods ranging between 1970 and 2008 and delineating all agriculture and forestry land-use within Park’s buffer zone of approximately 3.1 million hectares.

Once mapped, to analyse these changes and the socio-economic factors behind them and how this had and may continue to influence the Park’s catchment hydrology and groundwater resources.  Then based on the findings to provide recommendations on feasible agriculture and forestry set-back lines to protect the Park’s hydrology and ecological systems, whilst taking into account factors such as existing legal frameworks, local community livelihoods and the socio-economic context of that portion of the buffer zone.