Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring
The aquatic ecosystem provides goods and services to society and the environment. Aside from water, these goods and services include: food and fodder; raw materials for construction and craft; leisure, spiritual and cultural fulfillment; as well as flood attenuation and water purification. It is therefore important that the good condition and proper function of the aquatic ecosystem is maintained.
Water pollution and excessive abstraction of water from the rivers diminishes the capacity of the aquatic ecosystem to perform its functions. Water and environment legislation of both South Africa and Swaziland specify river Ecological Water Requirements. This legislation specifies river flow volumes and water quality standards to ensure the integrity of the ecology of the rivers and reservoirs. The Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring Unit is responsible for monitoring water quality status of the rivers and reservoirs in the operational area of KOBWA for the assessment of compliance with the Ecological Water Requirements. This Unit is also involved in monitoring and controlling the infestation of alien vegetation that is known to reduce both water availability and biodiversity.