One way of exploring where SA is in relation to a number of possible futures is by exploring forecasting scenarios – something WWF-SA did in participation with The Boston Consulting Group and water stakeholders.
The lush Carpathian mountains in Eastern Europe are a paradise of gurgling, pure streams and fountains – the stuff a Karoo farmer’s dreams are made of.
And yet my visit there in the early 2000s, a decade after the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu and the overthrow of the Romanian communist regime, revealed a shard of hell embedded in a failing state. The formerly powerful were generally the "newly" powerful, with a new mode of private enterprise.
Romanian "security services" armed with Kalashnikovs and Carpathian shepherd dogs stood guard at the mouths of deep springs in the limestone karst. This water source had been privatised — bottled and exported, off-limits to the locals who for generations had access to a plentiful supply.