Heather MacKay has spent several years working in the water sector in southern Africa. From postgraduate training in physical oceanography, she has worked in the field of freshwater and estuarine water quality management, and specialized in water quality for aquatic ecosystems. More recently, as a member of the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, she was intensively involved in the reform of water policy, was a member of the water law drafting team, and subsequently was responsible for development and implementation of policy and regulatory measures for protection of aquatic ecosystems. Presently she is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Water in the Environment at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her research interests are in policy development for natural resources management, and capacity building strategies for water policy development and implementation.