Glossary

W

WastewaterWater containing waste, i.e. liquid or solid matter discharged as useless from a manufacturing process.
Water accountsAccounts that treat water as any other product, valuing it by the price of its transaction.
Water bowserA mobile water tank.
Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WC/WDM)A strategy in South Africa to promote water use efficiency consistent with the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) that emphasizes effective management of water resources.
Water courseGeneral term for flowing water body. This can be a river, stream, creek, or brook, etc.
Water cycleSuccession of stages through which water passes from the atmosphere to the earth and returns to the atmosphere: evaporation from the land or sea or inland water, condensation to form clouds, precipitation, accumulation in the soil or in bodies of water, and re-evaporation.
Water deficitA water shortage that is either natural or man-made.
Water demandThe demand of various user groups for water.
Water Demand Management (WDM)The adaptation and implementation of a strategy (policies and initiatives) by water management institutions to influence water demand and usage of water in order to meet any of the following objectives: economic efficiency, social development, social equity, environmental protection, sustainability of water supply and services, and political acceptability (DWAF 1999).
Water governanceThe political, economic and social processes and institutions by which governments, civil society, and the private sector make decisions about how best to use, develop, and manage water resources.
Water infrastructureThe technical structures that support the transfer and storage of water.
Water lawWater law is the field of law dealing with the ownership, control, and use of water as a resource. It is closely related to property law and environmental law. Because water is vital to living things and to a variety of economic activities, laws attempting to govern it have far-reaching effects.
Water licenseA permit to abstract a given amount of water over a given period of time.
Water managementPlanned development, distribution and use of water resources.
Water Management Area (WMA)Any area defined for the purposes of water management, including a water resource plan area.
Water point agenciesAgencies responsible for managing point sources of water such as boreholes.
Water qualityPhysical, chemical, biological and organoleptic properties of water.
Water re-useThe recycling of already used water, such as bathroom and toilet water. A filtering system pipes the recycled water to the households.
Water resources assessmentDetermination of the sources, extent, dependability and quality of water resources for their utilization and control.
Water scarcityImbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, intersectoral competition, interregional and international conflicts, all contributes to water scarcity (FAO 2009).
Water securityThe capacity of a population to ensure that they continue to have access to potable water.
Water supplyThe process of self-provision or provision by third parties in the water industry, commonly a public utility, of water resource of various qualities to different users.
Water useUse of water or altering of its natural condition with the intention of increasing the production of goods and services.
Water utilitiesCompanies that provide water and/or wastewater services.
Water vapourThe gaseous phase of water.
WatercourseA system of surface and ground water by virtue of their physical relationship a unitary whole normally flowing into a common terminus such as the sea, lake or aquifer.
WatershedSummit or boundary line separating adjacent drainage basins.
Watershed managementControlled use of drainage basins in accordance with predetermined objectives.
WC/WDM (Water Conservation and Water Demand Management)A strategy in South Africa to promote water use efficiency consistent with the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) that emphasizes effective management of water resources.
WDM (Water Demand Management)The adaptation and implementation of a strategy (policies and initiatives) by water management institutions to influence water demand and usage of water in order to meet any of the following objectives: economic efficiency, social development, social equity, environmental protection, sustainability of water supply and services, and political acceptability (DWAF 1999).
WDM (Water Demand Management)The adaptation and implementation of a strategy (policies and initiatives) by water management institutions to influence water demand and usage of water in order to meet any of the following objectives: economic efficiency, social development, social equity, environmental protection, sustainability of water supply and services, and political acceptability (DWAF 1999).
WeatherRefers to manifestations of atmospheric activity at a specific time and place.
WeatheringPhysical and chemical changes in soils or rock due to atmospheric processes and conditions. Physical weathering include changes in soils or rock due to temperature changes (e.g., expansion and contraction of rock) and abrasion by water, ice and wind. Chemical weathering includes the reaction of mineral particles with water or chemical substances in water, as well as the reaction of mineral particles with atmospheric gases or substances in the soil.
WED (World Environment Day)Celebrated each year on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
WeirA small overflow-type dam commonly used to raise the level of a river or stream.
WellShaft or hole sunk, dug or drilled into the earth to extract water.
Well pointA perforated tube driven into the ground to collect water from the surrounding area.
Well-beingHas multiple constituents, including access to basic material needs, freedom and choice, health, good social relations, and security. Well-being is at the opposite end of a continuum from poverty, which has been defined as a “pronounced deprivation in well-being.” The constituents of well-being, as experienced and perceived by people, are situation-dependent, reflecting local geography, culture, and ecological circumstances.
WetlandAn area that is seasonally or permanently saturated with water, and is transitional between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) defines wetlands as “Areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed 6 m.”
Wetland degradationThe impairment of wetland ecosystems as a result of human activity.
Wetland lossThe loss of wetland area due to the conversion of wetland to non-wetland areas, as a result of human activity.
WMA (Water Management Area)Any area defined for the purposes of water management, including a water resource plan area.
World Environment Day (WED)Celebrated each year on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
World Water ForumThe World Water Council is an international think tank founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Marseilles, France. It has 323 members (March 2006) from the private sector (for example the french power company EDF and the manufacturing company Mitsubishi Heavy Industry), government ministries, academic institutions, international financial institutions (for example the World Bank), the UN and local government. Every third year the World Water Council organizes the World Water Forum in close collaboration with the authorities of the hosting country. The Forum is the largest international event in the field of water.
WormAn invertebrate animal with an elongated, soft, flexible, rounded or flattened body.