Borehole audit to aid city’s master plan to ensure continued supply

POLOKWANE – This is part of the Polokwane Municipality’s master water plan to ensure uninterrupted supply.

According to Abbas Shaker, a water engineer at the municpality it is estimated that as soon as all boreholes are verified, it may produce 16,8 ML, while the current borehole water yield is between three and four megalitres a day.

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The extra 14 ML may add up to 20 % of the city’s needs.

The verification process should be finalised by the end of May.

The second phase of the project to find water sources, will entail linking water sources, including boreholes, to the city’s command reservoirs for water to be distributed to Seshego, Perskebult and Moletjie in addition to Polokwane.

This process is estimated to take around 18 months to finalise, starting around July.

Another plan, still being negotiated, is to assist communities in around Lebowakgomo and Lepelle Nkumpi, where sources with the possibility to yield around 10 ML of water per day, have been identified, to help the communities to utilise their own sources, so that water saved this way from the Olifantspoort plant will then end up in Polokwane.

The Capricorn District Municipality, Lepelle Nkumpi and Polokwane Municipalities are negotiating and hope to conclude negotiations by the end of June. Implementation will take up to two years.

Utilisation of groundwater outside Polokwane, the exploration of which should be concluded by the end of May, could yield 27,8 ML per day and will alleviate immediate problems.

Plans also involve Lepelle Northern Water to increase capacity of pipelines from the Olifantspoort plant to deliver more water to Polokwane.

Future water demand, 30 to 40 years from now, will need further planing and government assistance, as the current planning will not be able to solve the problem in the long term. The implementation of a smart water metering system will also assist with the control of water demand and supply and the monitoring of losses. The system is in the process of being installed in the city and will take three years to finalise. More than R2,5 billion is required to augment the water supply to be able to cater for current planning and developments.

Polokwaneans will need a mindshift to realise: every drop counts, the mayor, Thembi Nkadimeng, told Review.

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Nelie Erasmus

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