Because the Okavango River rises in the Angolan highlands and flows over 1,000 miles, passing through Namibia, before entering Botswana and forming the Okavango Delta there exist many threats to the Okavango Delta’s existence.
As Angola develops through substantial oil revenue and the threat of violence in that country diminishes there will be more pressure on the water that makes up the Okavango Delta at source as human populations increase and increased agricultural development places pressure on the resource.
Namibia through which the Okavango River flows as the Kavango River is also considering extracting water upstream of the Delta to use for power generation, agriculture and to supply their capital Windhoek.
In 1994 the three basin states formed the Permanent Okavango River Basin Commission (OKACOM), to of promoting sustainable management of the river basin through the development and implementation of a comprehensive basin–wide management plan.
Within Botswana, the threat comes from human habitation near the Delta and the effect this has on the animal numbers that sustain the ecosystem.