Throughout 1983 Ju/'hoan movement out of Tjum!kui gains momentum. Three farming communities are established and the people are busy milking and managing their cattle. However, the fledgling communities face a new threat. The Department of Nature Conservation is planning to establish a game reserve on Ju/'hoan land where people will be forbidden to have livestock or plant crops. They will be encouraged to act like "Bushmen" - dress in skins, gather bush-foods, and hunt for the amusement of tourists. REAL WATER documents a decade of grassroots efforts by the Ju/'hoansi to stake a claim to their traditional lands.
As conflict intensifies, John Marshall and the people decide to drill their own boreholes. With more water, they reason, people can establish more farms and strengthen their claim to the land. Meanwhile, international pressure for South Africa to leave South West Africa escalates. Better relations between Ju/'hoansi and the government become possible. Tsamkxao, ≠Oma's son, leads a delegation to the capital with a petition protesting the game reserve. Finally, the Department of Nature Conservation announces that instead of a game reserve, it will promote trophy hunting, definitely the lesser of two evils.
Looking forward to a more democratic future, delegates from the farming communities meet for the first all-Ju/'hoansi convention to write down the laws by which they hope to govern their land.