Socioeconomic development objectives are integral to the integrated river basin management initiatives in several river basins around the world, including the Olifants River Basin of South Africa. All viable strategic water management alternatives are expected to contribute towards such, usually predefined, socioeconomic objectives in addition to other hydrological and ecological objectives. An assessment of the relative merits of different alternatives becomes imperative to trace the respective contributions of the alternatives to such objectives and thus to identify the best-bet and most agreeable alternative from a multi-stakeholders' perspective. This paper reports key findings from application of a methodology for this purpose in the Olifants River Basin of South Africa by (a) establishing a link between water management indicators and socioeconomic objectives, (b) assessing the potential socioeconomic implications of various water management alternatives and (c) rank ordering the identified alternatives against the socioeconomic objectives based on multi-criteria decision analysis techniques.

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