The Nationwide Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998) provides the necessary framework within which to protect, use, develop, conserve, manage and control our water resources. The Act must be underpinned by implementation-level policy and a structured management strategy. Integrated control of groundwater and surface water is required as a way to offer adequate protection of the resource. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry already in 1994 initiated, with extensive stakeholder consultation, the growth and development of a strategy for the management of groundwater quality. Comment on this first edition will be appreciated.