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Published: 08-May-2020

Finding Water in Drought Stricken Western Cape

MINROM Hydro joins the water cause in Western Cape and helps struggling agricultural clients find groundwater.


Drought conditions in South Africa

The recent drought conditions in South Africa have been the cause for major concern across the private, industrial and agricultural sectors in the country for a number of years now. The lack of water has had a significant adverse impact on the economy with many farmers and businesses unable to cope without a source of clean, fresh water. The Western Cape has been under immense pressure with the City of Cape Town (CCT) introducing stringent water use measures in recent times. The CCT has launched into action with its Water Resilience campaign, to supplement Cape Town’s water supply from the Steenbras and Theewaterskloof dams, as well as the Atlantis Aquifer

Searching for groundwater in Riversdale, Western Cape

MINROM Hydro too, has been stepping into the foray and doing our part to help struggling agricultural clients to find groundwater for their needs! The MINROM Hydro team was recently in the quiet Western Cape city of Riversdale to assist one of its clients in finding water. Water has been scarce from the ground in this region and MINROM was up for the challenge if finding it.

Using field mapping and hydrocensus to find groundwater

The team conducted an initial field mapping programme verifying historical geological maps and identifying prominent fault zones and/or fracture zones which inherently hold the groundwater. This was supplemented with a detailed Hydrocensus survey of all boreholes within a two (2) km radius of the clients farmlands (Figure 1). Hydrocensus investigations are extremely important in the search for groundwater – existing boreholes provide the Hydrogeologist with crucial information of the Hydrology of the area, including the resting water level which are correlated to water table depths in the area. Water samples too, can be extracted easily with a bailer and tested immediately with handheld meters for EC and pH, then sent to an analytical facility to determine the chemical composition and bacterial content.

Our ground team in Riversdale identified a number of boreholes in the Riversdale vicinity, of which all but one was either poorly yielding, or completely dry. The only borehole with water was determined to be an unbelievable 1.8 km deep! The borehole however yielded warm, saline and iron-rich water which is insufficient for agriculture or consumption. It was sufficient to say the area had historically been poor for groundwater, and the team on site concluded this.

MINROM identifies other water options

Our team however was not content to leave it there and discussed further water options for our client which would sufficiently meet their needs – a communal water use scheme from the nearby Korentepoort dam!

MINROM Hydro can assist you too with your groundwater needs - from field Hydrocensus planning to geophysical investigations, water borehole drilling and extracting, sampling and testing your water - to meet your requirements! Contact us today to see how we can help you.


Figure 1 (a) The MINROM team at the Riversdale field site, (b & c) the dominant lithologies in the field area are interlayered siltstones and sandstones of the Uitenhage group,
(d-f) the MINROM Hydro ground team performed a field Hydrocensus – capturing water level data, borehole collar information and construction data.

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