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Lesotho

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Lesotho

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Amazon
Area: 5888268 km2
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Cities:
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

50.0%
Local Water Resource Governance
50.0%
Upstream Water Issues

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Lesotho is located entirely within the Orange River Basin. The major sub-basin river systems in Lesotho are: -The Senqu (Orange), which drains two-thirds of Lesotho (24,485km2), originates in the extreme north of the country and leaves Lesotho near Quthing. In its catchment area, four large dams will be constructed under the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). -The Makhaleng, with a catchment area of 2,911km2, originates in the vicinity of Mount Machache and leaves the country near Mohales Hoek. -The Mohokare (or Caladon) marks the border with South Africa and has a catchment area of 6,890km2. It springs from Mount Aux Sources, and leaves Lesotho near Wepener. All its major tributaries are located in Lesotho. The Lets’eng-la-Letsie wetland in the Quthing district was tentatively designated as a RAMSAR site by the government as part of its accession to the RAMSAR Convention. Lesotho’s natural renewable water resources are estimated at 5.23km3/yr, by far exceeding its water demand. Due to Lesotho’s commitments in the framework of the LHWP, its actual water resources will have decreased to 3.03km3/yr by 2020. Groundwater resources are estimated at 0.5km3/yr. Aquifer yields are low: of a sample of 818 wells, only 12 per cent yielded above 1l/s; average well depth was 65m in intrusive, sedimentary or volcanic rock, and 28m in alluvial rock. In 1995, about 3300 wells, equipped with hand-pumps, served the rural population in the lowlands, while 10 per cent of the urban municipal production originated from groundwater. Except for the area around Maputsoe (aquifer yield 50l/s), the potential for irrigation with groundwater in Lesotho is low. Major dams have been constructed in the framework of Phase I of LHWP: -Katse Dam in the Central Maluti Mountains was completed in May 1997. It is a concrete arch dam, 185m high, with 710m crest length and a storage capacity of 1.95km3. It impounds the Malibamatso River catchment (1,866km2); -Mohale Dam is a concrete faced rockfill dam, 145m high, with 540m crest length. It impounds the Senqunyane River catchment (938km2) and has a storage capacity of 0.86km3; -Muela Dam, a 55m high, 6 million m3 capacity dam acts as the tailpond of the Muela hydropower station. Phases II, III and IV of the project foresee the construction of Mashai Dam (3.3km3), Tsoelike Dam (2.22km3) and Ntoahae Dam.

1.1.2.WATER USE In 2000, the total water withdrawal was estimated at 43.6 million m3. Industry is the main water user with 22 million m3 (51 per cent) followed by municipalities with 21 million m3 (48 per cent) and agriculture with only 0.6 million m3 (1 per cent).

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Lesotho’s ecology is fragile because of the mountainous topography, the thin soil layer and the limited vegetative cover. Population pressure has forced settlement in marginal areas, resulting in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, soil exhaustion and desertification. Poor management practices and infrastructure improvements have had serious negative impacts on water resources, through the destruction of wetlands and their hydrological functions, changes in water regimes due to overgrazing and inappropriate cropping practices, and increased sediment production caused by mining and road construction. Water pollution by slurry from diamond mines is recognized as an environmental problem.

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Organizations in Lesotho


HYDROC is an association of independent consultants, -scientists and -engineers, providing water-related services through a network of national and international experts. Our concept uses the synergies of our combined expertise for the successful implementation of a variety of projects. Our ... Learn More

Projects in Lesotho


WaterAid is an international NGO focused exclusively on ensuring equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) for the world’s poorest communities. Formed in 1981 we have been working in water, sanitation and hygiene for over 30 years. ... Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

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Developers: Pacific Institute

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Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Developed by a group of leading beverage businesses, this is an easy-to-use excel tool for beverage facilities to estimate direct costs associated with their most water- and resource- intensive processes, beyond just the cost of water from the tap. The ... Learn More

Plan, Prepare and Respond- Breakdown for different industries on how to operate safely. Cleaning and disinfecting, Worker Safety, Support Resources, Mitigation Strategy Learn More

An emphasis on gaps in WASH coverage and what role institutions play in battling COVID-19. Links and other resources provided. Learn More

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Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

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Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

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Developers: BHP

The purpose of these guidelines is to highlight additional measures so that the integrity of the food chain is maintained, and that adequate and safe food supplies are available for consumers. Learn More

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

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Workers in office buildings may be at risk for exposure to the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialists can take steps to create a safe and healthy workplace ... Learn More

How to ensure the safety of your occupants and building water system and devices Learn More

CAIR-CA has put together the following guide to some of the resources for workers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Learn More

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Developers: Sabesp

Technical guidance, WASH preparedness, webinars, checklists for health facilities, self assessments, and guidance on disinfectants. Learn More

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

Urban stormwater is becoming an increasingly important alternative water supply in California. However, current economic analyses do not adequately evaluate co-benefits provided by different stormwater investments. As a result, urban stormwater capture is undervalued. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

NBS offer a promising contribution on how to enhance the availability and quality of water for productive purposes and human consumption, while preserving ecosystems. In this discussion paper, 21 case studies of water management processes are analysed, using a non-representative ... Learn More

FAO has been emphasizing the need to accelerate a global transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems, advocating an integrated approach. This document focuses on the management of water for agricultural use. Learn More

The purpose of this document is to provide ministries (e.g. Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Water (MOW)), sub-national public health authorities, and implementing partners with a practical framework of action to both prepare for and mitigate community transmission of ... Learn More

This document gives advice on: 1. Simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace 2. How to manage COVID-19 risks when organizing meetings &amp; events 3. Things to consider when you and your employees travel 4. Getting ... Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

In this link, you will find an overview of our measures and initiatives to support the health and livelihood of employees and communities in which we operate. Our three guiding principles: Health, safety, and trust of our people Safeguard the ... Learn More

Developers: Heineken

Om Prasad Gautam, Khairul Islam, and Erik Harvey discuss the importance of handwashing with soap and water in reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19 and highlight the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector can and should do in response to ... Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To provide guidance and a global framework for the design, verification and scaling up of Nature-based Solutions. The Standard includes globally consistent Criteria and Indicators, which are supported by the Principles for Nature-based Solutions, to measure the strength of interventions. Learn More

Developers: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

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Developers: American Water Works Association

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National Register Resources: Psychological resources and information. Learn More

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The United Nations World Water Development Report for 2018. Learn More

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Developers: GETF, The Coca-Cola Company

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Developers: Ambev S/A

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Developers: Pacific Institute

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Developers: WaterAid

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Developers: Pacific Institute

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Developers: UNICEF The United Nations Children's Fund

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. ... Learn More

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Developers: Pacific Institute

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Developers: WWF

This report calls for an integrated approach that brings together governments, water users, and the society at large including the private sector, NGOs, and academia to design smart, adaptable and sustainable solutions for water infrastructure impacted by climate change. Learn More

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water-related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UNEP Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ceres Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

PRI; WWF Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

U.S. General Services Administration Learn More

National Drought Mitigation Center Learn More

USGS Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

OECD Learn More

SAI Platform Learn More

Lillian Holmes
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