File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
The profound saying that “the best leaders never waste a good crisis because it affords them the chance to make the kind of large wholesale changes their organisation needs” is well illustrated in the Little Karoo.

The drought that is prevailing in the Western Cape provides an ideal opportunity to chart a way ahead with much more vigour to address the impacts of climate change.

Valued readers are aware of the dire water situation in both the Central and Little Karoo. It has caused panic among agricultural and domestic users alike.

The latest dam assessment by our department suggests that both areas are facing severe water supply challenges.

The current water shortage experienced in Oudtshoorn and surrounding areas has fast-tracked the implementation of what had previously been considered to be medium- to long-term bulk water supply augmentation intervention.

The most innovative and excellent example is the planning and implementation of the Oudtshoorn Groundwater Project: Blossoms Pipeline.

The department through National Disaster Management has acquired funds close to R30m to fast-track the project during the 2018-19/2019-20 financial years respectively.

The Oudtshoorn Groundwater Project entails equipping existing boreholes and constructing a 22km pipeline from the existing well field in the Blossoms area, to the town’s existing water network.

The project is set to boost water security as this water source has the capability to supply Oudtshoorn with drinking water. The pipeline will also be linked to the town of Calitzdorp, which falls under the Kannaland Local Municipality.

This noble project by our national government and other spheres of government is quite remarkable as it will go a long way in stretching the water security of Oudtshoorn.

On a positive note, over the years this department has been hard at work in implementing water innovations in the Karoo.

The Klein Karoo Rural Water Affairs Supply Scheme was implemented by the then Department of Water and Forestry, and put Oudtshoorn on the map after it was showcased as part of World Design Capital 2014, a prestigious designation bestowed on Cape Town by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.

This department will continually monitor the dam levels and will model the outcomes and impacts.

The regional office is bound to continuously inform you of the announcement of the weekly dam levels.

Rashid Khan

Regional head: Western Cape Department of Water and Sanitation