This book gets to grips with the complexities of policy change in South Africa, asking how evolving doctrines and policies shape the way water use rights are conceptualised and governed. It offers an historical overview of the evolution of water resources policy and legislation, before going on to explore in-depth the process of formulating the Water Allocation Reform policy. This is then contrasted with an 'on-the-ground' case study that brings into relief the dynamics occurring at the policy level. The book offers a new perspective that emphasises the discursive construction of rights - how different principles are privileged in diverging discourses around scarcity, equity, efficiency and sustainability, and how such 'allocation discourses' are transformed at the local level by new processes of politics and power. The book sets these processes within the wider context of political and economic change in South Africa, and draws lessons for the broader experience of water policy and legislation in an international context. The book is aimed towards researchers, policymakers and practitioners and a broader international readership interested in water policy and development.