20 October 2017

South Africa: #CapeWaterGate - Demand for Boreholes Rises As Dam Levels Sink to 35 Percent

analysis

Cape Town is well into Phase One of its Water Resilience Plan with dam levels at 35% and usable, safe drinking dam water sitting at around 25%. By comparison, dam levels were 62% this time in 2016. Despite critical dam levels, collective consumption is still over 600-million litres of water per day. Water-wise domestic users are turning their attention to groundwater to reduce some of the pressure on municipal water sources - but what are the options and how deep into their pockets do consumers have to dig for boreholes and well points? By Leila Dougan for CHRONICLE.

The City of Cape Town recently outlined its plan to drill boreholes into surrounding aquifers in order to augment the current municipal water supply. But they're not the only ones tapping into underground water sources. An increasing number of households are investing in boreholes and well points to reduce pressure on the municipal water system.

Simply put:

A borehole is a shaft drilled to depths of more than 20 metres with a diameter large enough to install a pump for the purpose of abstracting underground water;

A well point is a pipe with a filtered end which runs about 10 metres deep...

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