The Sustainable Development and Climate Change Project is an initiative of 12 institutes from developing and developed countries. It explores the idea that a less polarised way of meeting the challenges of sustainable development and climate change is to build environmental and climate policy upon development priorities that are vitally important to developing countries. South Africa is one of the six countries involved in exploring these linkages. This document outlines possible water resource futures for South Africa. It should be read together with a companion report with describes different futures for the energy sector. This paper takes the first steps to identifying promising policy options for a transition to long-term sustainable development in South Africa. It sets the context for further analysis (in Phase 2) of water resource management policies and strategies that meet both the development priorities of South Africa and address climate change.