The IUCMA has inherited several Initial functions upon its establishment. These are outlined in section 80 of the NWA as follows:
- investigate and advise interested persons on the protection, use, development,conservation, management and control of the water resources in its water management area;
- to develop a catchment management strategy;
- to co-ordinate the related activities of water users and of the water management institutions within its water management area;
- to promote the co-ordination of its implementation with the implementation of any applicable development plan established in terms of the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of1997); and
- to promote community participation in the protection, use, development, conservation,management and control of the water resources in its water management area.
On top of these initial functions, the IUCMA has also been assigned the functions insection 19 and 20 of the NWA:
19. Prevention and remedying effects of pollution
20. Control of emergency incidents in respect of water resource pollution or potential water resource pollution
In the future, the IUCMA may be assigned or delegated further functions by DWA in terms of schedule 3 of the NWA. These have not been assigned to the IUCMA yet and are summarized below.
- Power to manage, monitor, conserve and protect water resources and to implement catchment management strategies
- Catchment management agencies may make rules to regulate lawful water use
- Catchment management agencies may require establishment of management systems
- Catchment management agencies may require alterations to waterworks
- Catchment management agencies may temporarily control, limit or prohibit use of water during periods of water shortage