R18 million allocated to municipality for groundwater development in Mpumalanga
The municipality has experienced water supply challenges due to persistent drought resulting from low river flows and the subsequent drying of dams, as is the case with Mkhombo Dam.Devdiscourse News Desk | Mpumalanga | Updated: 11-07-2019 14:44 IST | Created: 11-07-2019 14:44 IST
The dam located in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, serves as the main source of raw water for the vast semi-rural communities of Dr. JS Moroka Local Municipality, Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, and Sekhukhune District Municipality.
The declining trend is due to the fact that in addition to abstractions to meet raw water demand, the shallow dam basin and a large surface area set the stage for elevated evaporation.
"The Mkhombo Dam catchment is characterized by low seasonal rainfall and low runoff, which has since been magnified by prevailing drought conditions. Mkhombo Dam has a storage capacity of 205 million cubic meters but over the years, it has hardly ever filled up due to its catchment characteristics," the department said.
"Through the intervention, 11 boreholes are undergoing refurbishment, while 15 new boreholes have been drilled, giving a total of 26 boreholes and two package plants. Work progress is 80%.
"As part of the interventions to ensure that communities have access to water, groundwater was identified as one of the key interventions and drought relief funded boreholes were prioritized," the department explained.
The municipality is expected to complete the groundwater intervention project by 15 July 2019.
The department has urged communities to be water-wise and use the available water in most of the conservative ways.
The communities also need to understand that water restrictions are used to ensure that everyone has access to water as a source of life, the department emphasized.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)