Risk assessment of groundwater in the Laingsburg municipal area

Harding, Gwynnefer (2017-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Laingsburg Local Municipality is dependent on groundwater as the only source for water service delivery. Climate change is leading to more frequent drought and a decline in groundwater availability within the municipal area. It has been recorded that the municipality has high water losses which has had an impact on the sustainability of water service delivery. A drought was declared in 2015, and although the municipality acknowledged that there had been some rainfall in the area, it was not sufficient for the municipality to respond to the huge water demand during the 2016 summer. This research was done to find out what effects does climate change have on groundwater in the area and more particularly as it relates to drought and other natural disasters. To this end, a literature review of previous studies undertaken in the field was conducted according to the prescribed norm and a case study was done to collect data. The findings show that the municipality’s groundwater resources are under severe strain as a result of climate change, as well as current resource management. It is therefore recommended that the municipality develop and implement an integrated adaptation plan to conserve natural resources as well as improve resource management including the use of viable alternative methods. It is further recommended that Laingsburg Local Municipality reviews its current resource management practices and finds innovative and creative ways to bring about change. If the municipality is unable to consider and implement the proposed recommendations, for whatever reasons, it may not be able to deliver water services to its consumers in a sustainable manner. It is also clear that the municipality may also be faced with severe water shortages because the study draws clear conclusions about the decline of groundwater sources within the area under the jurisdiction of Laingsburg Local Municipality. The researcher made recommendations to the municipality which can assist the municipality to conserve the natural resources. It includes building in-house capacity and utilisation of available resources like the War on Leaks Programme and secondments from government agencies to complement the staff component. The municipality will have to embark on vigorous awareness programmes to change the mind-set of all stakeholders and role players within the municipal area and appoint water ambassadors to bring about a paradigm shift regarding water saving and the conservation thereof. The water tariff system must be reviewed to enable conversion of the deficient municipal budget. The municipality must develop and implement an adaptation plan which includes replacement of ageing water supply infrastructure, which will assist the municipality to minimise water losses. The building of additional storage facilities at Soutkloof Spring as well as in Laingsburg town will assist the municipality to store water for drought conditions and the dry season. The municipality should furthermore expand the use of recycled water, which is currently used for irrigation of Lucerne to include the irrigation of sport facilities in Laingsburg. It is also recommended that the municipality investigate, plan and implement purification of recycled water for human consumption in the future. The municipality should also undertake thorough investigation of fracking and uranium mining before supporting and approving these opportunities to improve the economy of the municipal area. Implementation of the recommendations will limit huge water losses, groundwater will be conserved and sustainability will be ensured.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Laingsburg Plaaslike Munisipaliteit is afhanklik van grondwater as die enigste bron vir die lewering van waterdienste. Klimaatsverandering lei tot meer gereëlde droogtes en 'n afname in die beskikbaarheid van grondwater in die munisipale gebied. Die studie toon dat die munisipaliteit hoë waterverliese lei wat 'n impak het op die volhoubaarheid van dienslewering met betrekking tot water. Die droogte wat in 2015 verklaar is en die feit dat die munisipaliteit erken het dat die 2016 reënval in die gebied onvoldoende was, om volhoubare water aan verbruikers te voorsien. Hierdie navorsing is gedoen om die effek van natuurlike rampe soos droogte op grondwater in die Laingsburg munisipale gebied tydens klimaatsverandering vas te stel. 'n Literatuuroorsig met betrekking tot vorige studies op die gebied soos vereis as ‘n voorgeskrewe norm is uitgevoer en 'n gevallestudie is onderneem. Die bevinding is dat die munisipaliteit se grondwaterbronne onder geweldige druk verkeer as gevolg van klimaatsverandering, maar die huidige hulpbronbestuur dra ook daartoe by. ‘n Plan is opgestel wat aanbevelings maak wat die munisipaliteit in staat sal stel om die nodige aanpassings te maak om veerkragtig teen die effekte van klimaatsverandering te wees en ook natuurlike hulpbronne te bewaar. Dit sluit ook verbeterde hulpbronbestuur in wat alternatiewe metodes en bronne betrek. Daar word aan beveel dat die Laingsburg Plaaslike Munisipaliteit huidige hulpbronbestuurspraktyke hersien en nuwe maniere vind om grondwater te beskerm. Indien die munisipaliteit nie die aanbevelings aanvaar en implementeer nie, sal die munisipaliteit nie in staat wees om water op 'n volhoubare wyse aan sy verbruikers te lewer nie. Die munisipaliteit sal ook gekonfronteer word met waterskaarste soos uitgewys deur gevolgtrekkings wat die daling in die grondwaterbronne binne die munisipale gebied na aanleiding van navorsing beklemtoon. Die navorser maak aanbevelings wat die munisipaliteit in staat sal stel om die natuurlike munisipale hulpbronne te bewaar. Dit sluit die bou van plaaslike vermoëns en benutting van beskikbare hulpbronne soos die “War on Leaks” program en sekondering van regeringsagentskappe om die personeel aan te vul. Die munisipaliteit moet bewusmakingsprogramme van stapel stuur om die sienings van alle belanghebbendes en rolspelers binne die munisipale gebied te verander en water ambassadeurs aanstel om waterbesparing te bewerkstellig. Die watertariefstelsel moet hersien word om die munisipaliteit in staat te stel om die begrotingstekort aan te spreek. Verder moet die munisipaliteit ‘n aanpassingsplan ontwikkel wat die vervanging van verouderde infrastruktuur insluit en dit implementeer om waterverlies te verminder. Die bou van bykomende stoorfasiliteite by die Zoutkloof waterbron asook in die dorp word aanbeveel. Dit sal die munisipaliteit in staat stel om genoegsame water te berg vir droogtes en droë seisoene. Die munisipaliteit word aanbeveel om herwinde water ook vir die besproeiing van sportfasiliteite te gebruik en nie net vir lusern nie. Verder word aanbeveel dat die munisipaliteit ‘n ondersoek loods en beplanning doen vir die implementering van die toekomstige gebruik van gesuiwerde herwinningswater vir menslike gebruik. Die munisipaliteit moet verder ook deeglike ondersoek instel rakende skaliegas en uraan ontginning alvorens ondersteuning en goedkeuring daarvoor verleën word om die ekonomie van die munisipale gebied te verbeter. Indien implementering van die aanbevelings gedoen word, sal die grootskaalse waterverliese beperk word. Dit sal grondwater bewaar en die volhoubaarheid daarvan verseker.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100882
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