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Dry Karee Dam has three towns sharing seven boreholes

Borehole_AmpedweaResidents in the towns of Calvinia, Nieuwoudtville, and Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape have been living in extremely challenging conditions since the local municipality dam ran dry a month ago.

The last water from the dam was used on December 10 and since, the towns have resorted to using boreholes as a water source.

The Hantam Municipality said it was making use of seven boreholes to provide water to residents for household consumption and that water restrictions were implemented to preserve the available underground water supply.

Municipal water and sanitation head Koos Nell said they were hoping for the best but doubted that their water supplies would suffice.

Nell explained that the local towns had been using the boreholes since 10 December 2016 but reiterated that the area was in desperate need of more assistance.

“We are using seven boreholes to supply water for three towns,” he said. Nell also estimated that the water from all seven boreholes would last approximately three months based on the current rate at which it was being used.

He highlighted that more strain would be placed on the usage with the onset of schools reopening for the new year.

The town of Calvinia has experience level-three water restrictions since May 2016.

Nell explained that initially, residents did not apply the restrictions properly, however since the dam ran dry, he said that people were working together.

Millions spent on Loeriesfontein’s ongoing water struggle

The municipality said that the town of Loeriesfontein had been without water for several years. The town had received water from Nieuwoudtville.

The municipality said that since November 2015, it has spent millions trying to supply Loeriesfontein with water.

Acting municipal manager Riaan van Wyk told media that “Loeriesfontein is receiving water for only four hours a day”.

He added that the municipality was transporting 90 000 litres daily into the town from Nieuwoudtville, which came at a cost of R400,000 a month.

The water department recently financed an emergency water pipeline to the town, however officials at the local municipality said that the water coming in from this pipeline was not enough.

Nell said that the provincial government is scheduled to drill additional boreholes in Loeriesfontein on 6 February 2017.

On the other hand, the town of Calvinia has been surviving on borehole water since the Karee Dam dried up in November.

It is currently one of seven empty dams in the country.

The town used to normally receive between 100 kilolitres and 130 kilolitres of water an hour, however with the drying up of the dam, it now receives 55kilolitres an hour from seven boreholes.

The water department maintains that despite recent rainfall in some provinces across the country, this has not been sufficient to break the nationwide drought and that residents have to use water very cautiously.

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