The information below comes from DWS and proves beyond doubt that it is essential for all boreholes in the country be fitted with a system where boreholes, reservoirs and dams can be monitored in real time and where problems may be identified in a timeous manner.

The VRS probe is the ideal device that can be implemented to do this task. The whole water system can be monitored from a single or multiple positions and proactive care can be taken from this monitoring.

The VRS probe is locally assembled from overseas and local parts and the software is 100% locally developed. It is envisioned that most of the items required will be manufactured locally should the quantities justify this.

This will ensure that the local manufacturing industry is given another product to produce thereby creating more employment locally.

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Department of Water and Sanitation

USING GROUNDWATER

Similarities with surface water are:

  1. Both sources are finite. Dams can and do run dry; groundwater sources can too if over-utilised.
  2. Both are recharged by rain.  Groundwater recharge may be on a longer cycle of “wet – dry periods”. Dams are designed to fill annually or over a short cycle of years depending on the yield of the river.  Some large groundwater aquifers may recharge from a long distance away or over very long time periods. Use must take this into account.
  3. Both groundwater and surface water levels must be carefully monitored and abstraction managed accordingly.
  4. Source areas need to be managed for quantity and quality of supply

A VISION FOR GROUNDWATER

  • Groundwater is recognised as a safe, secure and relatively affordable source of water,well-biffered and with a high resilience to drought.
  • Groundwater is adopted as the source of choice by both users and service providers.
  • Groundwater abstraction skills are developed, standards set, and implemented.
  • Areas distant from easily utilisable surface sources, and where surface water is not readily available, are supplied by networks of boreholes managed within pre-determined yield limits.
  • Groundwater quantity and quality is constantly monitored, and managed according to the sustainable yield of the resource.
  • Requirements are managed within assessed supply availability.

AN IMPLEMENTATION PERSPECTIVE

  • Networks of boreholes to supply communities, villages, and towns.
  • Even if there is surface water, groundwater (where available) can and should be developed as a supplementary source (conjunctive use).
  • Density of network (number of boreholes) will depend on groundwater yields and on water requirements. 
  • Boreholes and pumps conform to set requirements and standards with regard to maintenance and ensuring the availability of spares.
  • All boreholes will be monitored for yield and sustainable use.
  • A stringent maintenance programme will be put in place. Trained operators must be appointed with responsibility for monitoring, maintenance, and management of demand - with the authority to restrict use if required. 
  • Monitoring and maintenance will require specialised trained staff, thus offering permanent and responsible jobs  - but with the overall supply cost still far lower than could be expected from surface water stored and then piped from afar.
  • The Department will not approve surface water supply schemes where groundwater supply is evaluated to be technically and economically superior as a source.