Grasslands – Water Engines of the World

This film was produced by Green Renaissance the environmental division of African Renaissance Productions –


Grassland biome South Africa

“In the Future wars will be fought over water. Our bodies of made up of 75% water. Without it we will die…we need to do something now to protect the water engines that supply the country with water” says Angus Burns, Co-ordinator of the Enkangala Grasslands Project. The Enkangala Grasslands Project’s main aim is to conserve a priority water-catchment region for South Africa, spanning 1.6 million hectares of threatened, high altitude grasslands between KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State.

South Africa’s grasslands is the largest of country’s biomes, covering nearly a third of the land. Grasslands are irreplaceable water catchment, purification and storage areas ensuring that good, clean water is slowly released throughout the year. Enkangala includes the headwaters of the Tugela, Pongola, Usutu and Vaal rivers, providing water for the whole of Gauteng as well as to the major power stations in the region (which provide most of South Africa’s power).

Whilst local farmers have farmed sustainably for many generations, a major milestone for the project, and conservation in general, has been a recently proclaimed Protected Environment of natural vegetation spanning over 30 000 hectares in both Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. This was under severe threat from a very unsustainable practice- coal mining. A landmark Biodiversity Agreement was also signed with the Mabosa Community to set-aside a portion of their successful land claim for conservation.

The WWF Green Trust has funded the Enkangala Grasslands Project since 2002.

Having studied grassland science as a university major, I know how important this biome is to the world and particularly Africa.

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