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The Water Resources Bill on the Agenda

The Water Resources Bill is scheduled to be in Parliament next Tuesday. This crucial bill aims to establish a comprehensive legal framework for the sustainable management and development of water resources across the Republic of Mauritius. Below are the objectives and key features of the bill:


The main objectives

– Provide a legal framework for the use, management, control, protection, conservation, and sustainable development of water resources in Mauritius.

– Safeguard the public interest to ensure equitable access to water.

– Ensure water security and resilience.

– Establish a Water Resources Commission.

– Promote the efficient use of water.

– Address matters incidental and connected to the main objectives.


Key features of the Bill


Framework for Water Resources Management

Powers and Duties of the Minister: The Minister is tasked with setting national objectives and strategies for water security, promoting coordination among public and private stakeholders, and ensuring the implementation of integrated water resources management.

Entitlement to Use of Water: Prioritization is given to ensuring sustainable and adequate water supply for the population and public utilities. Factors like environmental impact, conservation needs, and climate change preparedness are considered.

Establishment of the Water Resources Commission: A department within the Ministry, led by a Director appointed by the Public Service Commission, responsible for managing and administering water resources.


Water Use Permit

Water Use Permit Requirements: No person may take, abstract, divert, obstruct, or use water from public sources without a water use permit. Permits are also required for desalination activities.

Application Process: Applicants must provide detailed information about their intended use, conservation measures, and compliance with regulations.

Determination and Issuance of Permits: The Minister, based on the recommendations of the Water Resources Technical Committee, will grant or reject permit applications, specifying conditions and fees.


Management and Administration of Water Resources

Responsibilities and Functions: A Water Resources Commission will oversee the use, management, and conservation of water resources, including constructing and maintaining infrastructure like dams and boreholes, monitoring water quality, and enforcing safety standards.


Existing Water Rights

Registration and Compensation: Existing water rights must be registered, and provisions are made for compensation where applicable.



Enforcement Notices and Powers: The Director and authorized officers have the power to issue remedial, enforcement, and prohibition notices to ensure compliance with the Act.


Application to Rodrigues

Adaptations for Rodrigues: Specific provisions are included to address the unique water management needs of Rodrigues.

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