Increasing competition for water in South Africa is changing the management emphasis from one of supply to that of controlling demand. There are many possible alternative uses of water. The Catchment Resource Assessment Model (CRAM) is a tool which can help evaluate these alternative uses. CRAM has been designed to:
- be objective;
- be fair to all parties;
- balance social, environmental and economic benefits and costs, and
- be understandable to the educated non-specialist user.
Using water as a “currency”, CRAM simulates the impacts of land uses on hydrological, economic, environmental and social conditions in a catchment. The Crocodile River catchment is modelled in the current implementation of CRAM. Users have indicated their preference for familiar and well-tried submodels in CRAM, rather than new, unknown models.