A major water project is on the cards for the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. The decision to move forward with the project known as the Blossoms Water supply Pipeline, was taken during a visit to the area conducted by Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape.
Bredell was visiting the region last week along with several provincial officials as well as officials from the National Department of Water and Sanitation.
“We want to ensure the town has another supply of water besides the existing Raubenheimer dam. The Blossoms project basically amounts to putting in a 22km pipeline and pumping infrastructure from existing boreholes that have been drilled in the Blossoms area, to the town’s existing water network. The water source is strong enough to supply up to half of the town’s drinking water. The pipeline will also be linked to the existing Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply Scheme which provides some water to the Kannaland municipality.”
Bredell says the project which is being done in collaboration with the National Government as well as the council of Oudtshoorn, could cost an estimated R91.2 million of which the first phase is set to cost R50 million.
“The National Department of Water and Sanitation is a valued partner and key stakeholder in this initiative and I want to thank the department under Minister Gugile Nkwinti for their help and ongoing efforts with the drought in the Western Cape.”
Bredell says drought relief funding of R30 million that has already been given to the town will be utilised to get the project going.
“Additional funding will be sourced from the national department of water and sanitation, the provincial government as well as the council of Oudtshoorn. This project will also bring much needed water security to Calitzdorp and Dysselsdorp. We hope to get this project rolling as soon as possible. It must be stated that Oudtshoorn currently does have water with the existing dam about 47% full following recent rainfall.”
Bredell also visited Beaufort-West and Kannaland municipalities last week where he was briefed about the ongoing situation in the regions regarding the drought crisis.
“These towns have severe water stress but there remains a lot that can be done in terms of water savings and driving demand down. I can confirm water was readily available in all the towns from the taps I drank from at random and the water quality was good. From a provincial side we continue to manage the situation on a day by day basis and will provide relief where and when needed. This is an unprecedented and relentless drought and we remain hopeful for rain in the months to come.”
The average dam level in the Western Cape is currently 47.7% (2018: 24.4%). Dams that supply the City of Cape Town with water have an average level of 59.7% (2018: 25.9%). The Theewaterskloof dam is currently at 46.3% (2018:13.13%); Voëlvlei Dam is at 75.3% (2018: 18.2%), Berg River dam is at 83% (2018: 52.6%) and Clanwilliam Dam is 54% (2018: 16%).Last published 28 January 2019