The implementation of principles for water governance is widely accepted but challenging for the whole water sector of a developing country like Zambia, because of the legal and administrative changes and organizational requirements involved. In February 2010, a revised water policy for Zambia was approved by the Cabinet. The revised National Water Policy 2010 aims to improve water resources management by establishing institutional coordination and by defining roles as well as responsibilities for various ministries. Taking into account the previous political and administration changes, this paper points out the problems and challenges of the implementation of good water governance mechanisms in Zambia. Focusing on the Kafue River Basin, from which water is abstracted for a variety of conflicting purposes (like municipal supplies, industrial use, mining, irrigation of agricultural land, fishery activities, wetland reserves and hydropower production), the gaps in implementing good water governance and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Zambia are identified, as well as the factors causing these gaps in the Zambian water sector. The paper finishes with a overview of the opportunities given by the new water policy through Water User Associations (WUAs) at a local level.
Keywords: Integrated water resources management, Kafue River, Water Governance, Zambia