DRY: The Gamka dam outside Beaufort West is completely empty after no rain in the area since 2010. Picture: Leon Lestrade
Beaufort West  - The Gift of the Givers is embarking on a R6 million intervention project to give relief in the Beaufort West water crisis.

Founder Imtiaz Sooliman said the foundation has been very aware of the water crisis in the area.

“We had already embarked on a crisis intervention plan and had brought in a specialist hydrologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, to study the possibility of accessing underground aquifers, drill boreholes and investigate the possibility of pumping water into the dam,” he said.

Groenewald and his team were on site and began drilling in Beaufort West early this month.

Sooliman said they had attained a yield of 220000 litres a day.

“The procedure of drilling in various areas continues tomorrow as we target the delivery of 1 million litres of water a day. The minimum cost thus far is R6million. We expect this to rise substantially.”

Meanwhile, trucks are preparing to deliver bottled water to Beaufort West.

Sooliman said they were looking at decisive interventions in Vredendal also, as that area too has been severely affected.

Anton James-Brent Styan, the spokesperson for the MEC of local government, environmental affairs and development planning, said Beaufort West had not reached a “day zero” situation.

“The town has simply run out of surface water. It must be noted that the town relies mainly on groundwater and a reclamation plant for its water. This has been the case for some time,” he said.

Styan said Beaufort West was one of five areas in the Western Cape worst affected by the drought.

The other four are Kannaland, the City of Cape Town, Bitou and Knysna. 

Cape Argus