1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Establishment of Water Apportionment Board

Ownership of and Inherent Right to the Use of Public Water

   4.   Use of public water and construction of works

   5.   Casual use of water in a public stream, etc.

   6.   Use, etc. of water by owners and occupiers of land

   7.   Right to water for mining purposes

   8.   Right to water for forestry purposes

   9.   Prohibition of use of water except with lawful authority

   10.   Determination of certain existing rights

   11.   No prescriptive rights to use of water

Recording of Existing Rights

   12.   Application for registration of existing rights

   13.   Registrar to record existing rights

   14.   Rights not subject to this Part

Grant of Water Rights

   15.   Grant of water rights

   16.   Rights may be made appurtenant to land

   17.   Conditions implied in certain rights

   18.   Rights conditional on construction of works

Revision, Variation, Determination and Diminution of Water Rights

   19.   Inadequacy of water supply for satisfaction of water rights

   20.   Suspension or variation of rights on account of drought, etc.

   21.   Where quantity unspecified Water Board may specify quantity

   22.   Variation of water rights with consent

   23.   Determination for breach of a condition

   24.   Determination or diminution for non-use

   25.   Determination or diminution for public purposes

Part VI
Miscellaneous Powers

   26.   Power to create servitudes

   27.   Right to call for information

   28.   Power to inspect works and require reparation, etc.

   29.   Power to require demolition of unlawful works

   30.   Power to establish hydrological stations and make surveys

Part VII

   31.   Appeals to the Minister


   32.   Registration

   33.   Delegation of the functions of Water Registrar and Board

   34.   Act to bind the State

   35.   Power to make regulations

   36.   Pollution of public water, etc.

   37.   Penalties

Act 40, 1967.

An Act to define the ownership of any rights to the use of water; to provide for the grant of water rights and servitudes; and to make provision incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 9th February, 1968]

Preliminary (ss 1-3)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Water Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-

   "Board" means the Water Apportionment Board;

   "borehole" does not include any borehole constructed in prospecting for minerals;

   "domestic purposes" includes the watering, spraying and dipping of stock;

   "effluent" does not include water discharged under the provisions of section 7(3) or 17(1)(a) or which has been used for irrigation;

   "existing right" means any right to public water-

   (a)   which at the commencement of this Act has been lawfully acquired, is possessed by, and is being beneficially exercised by, any person; or

   (b)   lawfully acquired by any person before the commencement of this Act for the purpose of supplying water to the public;

   "public stream" means a watercourse of natural origin wherein water flows, whether or not such watercourse or any portion thereof is dry for any period or whether or not its conformation has been changed by artificial means;

   "public water" means all water flowing over the surface of the ground or contained in or flowing from any river, spring or stream or natural lake or pan or swamp or in or beneath a watercourse and all underground water made available by means of works, but does not include any water which is used solely for the purposes of extracting mineral substances therefrom or water which has been lawfully appropriated for use;

   "servitude" means a right to enter on the land of another for the purpose of constructing or maintaining works thereon, or storing the water thereon, or carrying water under, through or over such land, or for all or any of such purposes;

   "underground water" means water naturally stored or flowing below the surface of the ground and not apparent on the surface of the ground;

   "Water Registrar" means the person appointed by the Minister as the Water Registrar for the purposes of this Act;

   "water right" means a water right granted or deemed to have been granted under this Act and, subject to the provisions of section 10, includes an existing right;

   "well" does not include a borehole;

   "works" includes canals, channels, reservoirs, embankments, weirs, dams, wells, boreholes, pumping installations, pipe-lines, sluice gates, filters, sedimentation tanks or other work constructed for or in connection with the impounding, storage, passage, drainage control or abstraction of public water, or the development of water power, or the filtration or purification of water, or the protection of rivers and streams, against erosion or siltation or flood control, or the protection of any works, or the use of public water for any purpose, or the conservation of rain water.

3.   Establishment of Water Apportionment Board

   (1) The Minister shall appoint a Board, to be styled the Water Apportionment Board, which shall consist of such number of persons as the Minister may determine, being not less than three nor more than 15 persons.

   (2) The Board shall have the functions conferred upon it by this Act, and may perform such functions notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership.

   (3) The Minister shall appoint a Water Registrar who shall be ex officio Secretary of the Board.

   (4) Neither members of the Water Apportionment Board, nor the Water Registrar shall be personally liable for, or in respect of, any act done or omitted to be done in good faith in the performance or supposed performance of their functions under this Act.

   (5) In the performance of its functions under this Act the Board shall have regard to any relevant international agreement regulating the use of water to which Botswana is a party.

Ownership of and Inherent Right to the Use of Public Water (ss 4-11)

4.   Use of public water and construction of works

   Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other written law there shall be no right of property in public water, and the control and use thereof shall be regulated as provided in this Act or in accordance with the provisions of the Waterworks Act.

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