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TEN viable boreholes will be connected in areas worse affected by the drought to help mitigate the effect of the prolonged drought.

This after one more borehole at Jeugkamp in Humansdorp was connected to the existing water treatment works earlier this month.

The drilling of exploratory boreholes is also being considered, as well as desalination. Kouga Municipality is, furthermore, looking for additional water sources across the region – including at Die Berg in Humansdorp.

According to Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, the municipality is in the process to connect three additional boreholes at St Francis Bay, while four existing boreholes in Humansdorp and three boreholes in Hankey will also be connected. This in a bid to help counter the drought effects in the region.

“While residents of St Francis Bay currently use 2 616kl of water per day on average, the three boreholes will add an additional 1 000kl of water per day to the current groundwater supply of 259kl per day,” said Hendricks.

He said that the average water consumption in Hankey is 1 635kl per day, of which 810kl are borehole water. “The new boreholes will add an additional 510kl of water per day – giving a total of 1 320kl of water per day.

“Once connected, the four boreholes in Humansdorp will supply 400kl of water per day.”

Hendricks, however, warned that even the boreholes can run dry when water tables decline.

“As part of our efforts to manage water usage, municipal taps are turned off at public open spaces, all municipal buildings will be equipped with rainwater harvesting tanks, and stringent measures have been put in place to ensure that the restricted allocation of 50l of water per person per day is adhered to,” said Hendricks.

“Saving water starts with all of us. Let us work together and reduce our water consumption.”

Drought Disaster Funding

Two funding applications to the tune of R151.228 million for drought-relief, submitted by the municipality, have been fully approved by National Treasury in October 2018 – securing extra water for the drought-stricken region.

The funding included R58.7 million for groundwater exploration and R92.5 million for water conservation and demand management.

More than 40 exploratory boreholes were drilled and tested, with a total of 15viable boreholes connected across the region. This includes Jeffreys Bay (4), Humansdorp (1), Hankey (2), Patensie (2), St Francis Bay (1), and Oyster Bay 5).

The Water Treatment Works at Jeffreys Bay was also upgraded at a cost of R35 million to improve the treatment of borehole water. The water storage capacity at Humansdorp was, furthermore, increased to cater for extra groundwater.

According to Hendricks, the water conservation and demand management projects focused on minimising water losses through leaks. “Old reticulation systems were replaced in Hankey, Patensie, Oyster Bay, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp.

“Leaks at 1 878 houses in disadvantaged areas were repaired, while extra bulk meters were installed to improve water monitoring. Furthermore, over 15 200 domestic water meters were audited and replaced where necessary.

“Leak detection were also completed in eight areas.”