• All Share : 53482.88
    DOWN -0.15%
    Top40 - (Tradeable) : 46759.58
    DOWN -0.21%
    Financial 15 : 14935.58
    DOWN -0.09%
    Industrial 25 : 71614.67
    DOWN -0.17%
    Resource 10 : 32345.59
    DOWN -0.72%

  • ZAR/USD : 14.1996
    DOWN -0.08%
    ZAR/GBP : 18.7236
    DOWN -0.02%
    ZAR/EUR : 16.0237
    DOWN -0.02%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1408
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    ZAR/AUD : 10.8342
    UP 0.22%

  • Gold US$/oz : 1323.6
    UP 0.15%
    Platinum US$/oz : 1073
    UP 0.19%
    Silver US$/oz : 18.59
    UP 0.49%
    Palladium US$/oz : 693
    UP 0.87%
    Brent Crude : 49.53
    DOWN -0.30%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by Profile Data
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Fri Aug 26 07:07:47 SAST 2016

Farmers drill deep for water

Graeme Hosken | 01 February, 2016 00:19
Farmers are increasingly hard pressed to irrigate parched fields and provide water for their cattle. File photo
Image by: JAMES OATWAY Sunday Times.

Devastating drought, dwindling water resources and government mismanagement of boreholes threaten South Africa's supplies of underground water.

Farmers in many regions, struggling to make ends meet, are drilling boreholes to extreme depths, some beyond 500m.

"We have farmers who are drilling beyond 500m on Gauteng's East Rand and West Rand. They hit water, but it lasts maybe two days. Then it dries up," says Mike Mlengena, president of the African Farmers' Association.

The average depth of boreholes is between 60m and 150m.

Farmers are increasingly hard pressed to irrigate parched fields and provide water for their cattle.

Matthys Dippenaar, a research project leader for the Water Research Commission, said: "It is not sustainable to turn to groundwater when surface water is threatened.

"It is dangerous to just start pumping out more groundwater, which depends on rain for replenishment.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.