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AOSIS Honours Landmark Study of Water Governance & Security

16 April 2019
AOSIS Publishing celebrated a successful 2018 at its Laureatus Awards 2019 on 10 April. The event, held at North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus, devoted its second session to a symposium centred around Prof. Johann W.N. Tempelhoff’s ground-breaking book South Africa’s water governance hydraulic mission (1912-2008) in a WEF nexus context. Like all AOSIS titles, the book is published under an open-access license, making it freely available for non-commercial use.

As last year’s crisis in Cape Town demonstrated, water management is a vital concern in South Africa. Tempelhoff’s study is a sweeping and vivid chronicle of attempts over the years to harness, protect, and direct South Africa’s waters. Early water-management efforts focused on irrigation; later schemes emphasized power generation; today’s challenges have to do with the provision of potable water for direct human use. Tempelhoff charts each of these periods, and their political and social consequences. 
In doing so, he develops the theory of a water-energy-food (WEF) nexus: an interplay of relationships among the three main policy emphases governing water management, and their interrelation with governmental and environmental factors, including the deep and harrowing impact of climate change.

Civil engineer Dr. Paul Roberts, formerly of the Department of Water Affairs, then complemented Tempelhoff’s presentation with an appreciation of the book and a consideration of the ways in which its methods and findings might be applied to other countries facing similar issues. A question-and-answer session followed.

AOSIS began publishing books in 2010 with a single title, and its list has grown steadily, reaching 13 in 2018. All books are subject to thorough peer review, which limits their number but strengthens their prospect of making an impact. Indeed, every scholarly book ever published by AOSIS has been indexed in the prestigious Web of Science Book Citation Index, an impressive measure of their impact.
To read the book, please visit To view the symposium, please view below or visit To learn more about how AOSIS is bringing the best of African scholarship to the continent and to the world, please visit