Estimating the threat of water scarcity in the Breede River Valley : a forecast-based analysis

Bester, Stephanie Elizabeth (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-11)

In this study factors that influence the supply and demand of water in the Breede River Valley will be identified. In order to provide information for managers to plan water supply and demand in the in the Breede River Valley effectively, the objective of this study is to forecast possible high, normal and low water demand and supply scenarios. Another objective of this study is to identify possible solutions to the potential water scarcity in the Breede River Valley.

Final year project, 2011

Technical Report

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Water is a scarce resource in South Africa and especially in the Western Cape. It is, therefore, vital to manage it properly. There are a number of factors that make the task of managing water difficult. Climate change is one of these factors. It cannot be controlled and holds much uncertainty. In order to provide information for managers to plan water supply and demand in the in the Breede Water Management Area (WMA) effectively, the objective of this study is to forecast possible high, normal and low water demand and supply scenarios (Chapter 4). Furthermore this study will inform managers on the extent of the threat of the expected water scarcity occurring in the Breede River Valley through the scenarios. It was seen that all scenarios indicate shortfalls within the forecasting period of 20 years. In the best case scenario, which is already severe, water shortages will occur 12 years from now. In the worst case scenario water shortages will occur within 6 years from now. These results show that planners and developers are afforded a lead time of approximately 6 years to affect the required interventions. One possible solution involves building dams in the mountain ranges to exploit the catchment areas. The idea is that gravity fed water will be supplied to farmers from these dams – nullifying the necessity to draw irrigation water from the Breede River. It is recommended that further studies must be done to determine the feasibility and the environmental impact of interventions to reduce the expected water scarcity in the Breede River Valley.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Water is 'n skaars hulpbron in Suid-Afrika en veral in die Wes-Kaap, daarom is dit noodsaaklik om dit behoorlik te bestuur. Daar is 'n aantal faktore, soos klimaatsverandering, wat waterbestuur besonder moeilik maak. Klimaatsverandering kan nie beheer word nie en hou baie onsekerheid in. Hierdie studie beoog om voorspellings te maak van moontlike hoë, normale en lae water vraag en voorsieningscenario's (Hoofstuk 4). Die resultate van die voorspellings kan aangewend word om bestuurders te help om doeltreffend te beplan vir watervoorsiening en vraag in die Breede Waterbestuursgebied. Verder sal hierdie studie bestuurders inlig oor die omvang en die bedreiging wat waterskaarste inhou vir die Breederiviervallei. Alle scenario's het tekorte voorspel vir die vooruitskattingstydperk van 20 jaar. In die gunstigste projeksie, wat reeds ernstige watertekorte voorspel, sal watertekorte 12 jaar van nou af voorkom. In die ongunstiste projeksie sal tekorte 6 jaar van nou af begin plaasvind. Hierdie resultate toon dus dat die beplanners en ontwikkelaars ongeveer 6 jaar het om „n oplossing te vind en te implementer. Een moontlike oplossing behels dat daar damme in die bergreekse wat parallel aan die Breederivier loop, gebou word. Sodoende kan die opvangsgebiede optimaal benut word. Die boere sal dan nie meer afhanklik van die Breederivier (asook die Brandvleidam) vir besproeiingswater wees nie. Die uitvoering van verdere studies word sterk aanbeveel om die haalbaarheid en die omgewingsimpak van sodanige veranderings aan die watertoevoerstelsel vas te stel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18139
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