Concern over the deteriorating quality of South African surface water resources in the past several decades has resulted in a number of fundamental changes in the approach to national water quality management, the most significant being a shift from a point-source control approach to a more complex and information-intensive receiving-water-quality based strategy. These changes highlighted the urgent need for a new focus on the development of a balanced and integrated strategy for the national and regional assessment of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. An overview of the current developments, direction and strategies for water quality assessment of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, is presented.

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