Environmental flows in support of sustainable intensification of agriculture in the Letaba River Basin, South Africa

This study evaluates the socioecological consequences of the potential trade-offs between maintaining environmental flows (e-flows) and providing water for sustainable subsistence agriculture and livelihoods to the vulnerable human communities living along the lower Great Letaba River in South Africa. Implementation of e-flows is now generally recognized as an essential part of water resources management as they are designed to ensure that sufficient water is retained in a river to protect river ecosystems and all the beneficiaries of services that arise from those ecosystems. Understanding the relationship between e-flows and the use of water for small-scale agriculture is important for the management of trade-offs.