The Southern African Development Community region is subjected to more severe climatic variability scenarios which negatively impact on more than 70% of the region’s population who are dependent on groundwater for their livelihood. With the challenges of climate change, pollution and rapidly growing water demand in the region, the need to strengthen the management and development of groundwater for social and economic development cannot be overemphasized.
The rationale for the establishment of the Southern African Development Community Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) was premised on the importance of groundwater in the region and the need to set up a “Centre of Excellence” for groundwater management and groundwater dependent ecosystems in the region, and to have an institution that will serve as an interlocutor with national, regional and international groundwater initiatives and institutions.
The institute is hosted by the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa on behalf of, and under the strategic guidance of the SADC Secretariat, Directorate of Infrastructure’s Water Division, in Gaborone, Botswana. SADC-GMI is a project driven institute, currently implementing multiple projects in the SADC Region in partnership with key players in the water sector.
Who is SADC-GMI?
The Southern African Development Community Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) is established as a section 21 not-for-profit company registered under the South African Companies Act No. 71 of 2008, as amended. The company is run by a Board of Directors composed from representatives from the SADC Member States, University of the Free State, an Executive Director and SADC Secretariat’s Water Division as the Chair. It is hosted by the University of the Free State’s Institute for Groundwater Studies in Bloemfontein, South Africa on behalf of, and under the strategic guidance of the SADC Secretariat, Directorate of Infrastructure’s Water Division, in Gaborone, Botswana. As a subsidiary structure of SADC, SADC-GMI draws its mandate from the fourth phase Regional Strategic Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management (RSAP IV: 2016-2020).
SADC-GMI’s core mandate is to promote sustainable groundwater management and providing solutions to groundwater challenges in the SADC region through creating an enabling policy, legal and regulatory environment, capacity building, advancing research, supporting infrastructure development, and enabling dialogue and accessibility of groundwater information.