Groundwater News Roundup (Oct/Nov 2018)

Here's a roundup of some of the main stories making news in the groundwater industry.

Water doesn't come from a tap.

We all need safe drinking water to survive. Almost every business needs reliable water too. South Africa is already a water scarce country, the 30th driest in the world. Combined with having uneven rainfall, this makes water a hot commodity. We need to realise that water does not come from a dam, a pipe or a tap.

Read about the work that WWF is doing. WWF has been working in catchments in South Africa for nearly two decades. “We are involved with driving water stewardship initiatives with both communities and corporations, identifying water risks and ensuring healthy water-supplying landscapes such as wetlands. On our Journey of Water experience, we also empower media and celebrities to understand and share the complexities of how water gets to urban water users.”


Keep on keeping on

There’s nothing quite like the prospect of the taps running dry to focus the mind -

Andrea Weiss reminds us of the lessons that have been learnt along the way during the recent drought.


An updated water balance for the Grootfontein aquifer near Mahikeng

The Grootfontein Aquifer, part of the important North West dolomite aquifers, supplies about 20% of Mahikeng’s domestic water needs. Over-abstraction caused the large natural spring draining the aquifer to disappear in 1981, and groundwater levels have since fallen nearly 30 m in the vicinity of the former spring. Analysis of water levels and a water balance using recent assessments of groundwater abstractions confirm past work describing the hydrogeological functioning of the aquifer, and suggest that current abstractions need to fall by between 19 and 36 ML/day (7 and 13 Mm3 /a) to bring the aquifer back into longterm balance. Continued over-abstraction at Grootfontein implies increasing risk to Mahikeng’s water supply, and illuminates the larger challenge of ensuring groundwater use in the North West dolomites that is sustainable and in the public interest