Groundwater News Roundup (Dec 2017/Jan 2018)


Western Cape – boreholes made illegal

As of noon on Monday, virtually every domestic borehole user in the Western Cape started to break a rule that was, at the time, less than 72 hours old.

While the potential consequences for these residential users are neither clear nor seem imminent, existing rules mean their agricultural counterparts could face up to five years in jail for the same breach. And though the department of water and sanitation says it is not looking to send anyone to prison just yet, that may not help when it comes to future disaster relief.

On January 12 the department published a notice in the Government Gazette to tighten water restrictions in the Breede-Gouritz and Berg-Olifants catchment areas, which between them correlate to the political boundaries of the Western Cape. 

Aquifer water won't be ready a week from now, but it also won't take a year – expert

The City of Cape Town drilled its first test borehole into the Cape Flats aquifer on Thursday, hoping that the earth's natural underground reservoirs would provide an extra 80 million litres of water per day as dams dry up in a prolonged drought.

The drilling, however, is just the first stage of possibly rescuing the city from "Day Zero" – when it has no more water to pump to its residents, businesses and visitors – it does not mean that the water is available immediately.

Watch for more. 

Drilling on Cape Flats Aquifer starts as Cape Town dams dry up in drought

The City has a licence to extract 80 million litres of water from the Cape Flats Aquifer per day, 40 million from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer and 40 million from the Atlantis Aquifer.

What is an aquifer and why is it important for the #CapeDrought?

Want to know more about what's being done to alleviate Cape Town's water crisis?

This video shows how the City of Cape Town is drilling test boreholes into the Cape Flats aquifer, one of three being utilised to supplement the city's water with 150 million litres of water per day.