Water Source Areas

Background:

The aim of this project is to secure eighty percent of the strategic Water Source Areas with good governance, with ecological infrastructure being recognised and receiving direct investment.

The South African water sector is dominated by the engineered approach i.e. dam to deliver.

The role of the environment in water provision is discounted and assumed to be a constant service. In order for us to protect our water source areas we have to achieve a change thinking and we had to take a multi pronged approach.

In the late 1980's there were no piped water systems in operation in a lot of parts in the Eastern Cape especially outside towns. The water sources used for human consumption were almost exclusively springs and spring fed small streams. . Since then a lot of investment has been made in providing water to the rural communities and the sources for these supplies are a multitude of protected springs, boreholes and weirs on small streams fed by springs and groundwater seeps and are distributed across the area. In addition, people still use the traditional sources for stock watering and even for human consumption when their piped water supplies experience breakdowns.

Most of the high yielding groundwater sources that have been developed in the area are associated with dolerite dykes, both large and small. The shattered parent rock that is adjacent to the dykes (caused by the heat of the molten lava when the intrusion occurred) created pathways that water can now flow freely in and this provides the permeability for high yielding boreholes and spring.