Cape Aquifer

All you need to know about Borehole and wellpoint water in the western Cape. This is not our view but a article of the negative views of some of the doom prophets.

View of borehole and well point water usage. 

Over the past few years there has been a shift in the mentality amount garden owners about tapping into groundwater for irrigation purposes. The initial attitude was one of complete abundance, almost as if the ground several metres below us is soaked in water.

Irrigating with borehole water and wellpoint water.

I call this the “sponge in a bathtub” mindset. The sponge floats with top just sticking out above the water line. Stick a straw into the sponge and you would be able to suck the water out of it.

In recent years this mindset has been shown to be fallacious as many wellpoint and borehole users have learned their lesson the costly way. Within months, for some, after sinking a bore hole their water supply has dried up. Drilling companies are no longer able to guarantee hitting water, nor are they able to guess how long the ground water will be available.]

Drilling the borehole deeper.

Some have stuck to the old unsustainable mentality and have decided to just drill deeper. Hoping to hit water again. The problem lies in the nature of gravity. Groundwater is always drawn deeper into the earth's crust. The more “straws” we stick into the sponge the faster the water level drops.


Now you may have heard the counter argument that rainwater replenishes groundwater supplies. This is only partially true. Cape Town has several underground aquifers, some shallow and some deep below the surface. "Statements of these so-called aquifers that is so big and that have this big amounts of water. Any person that makes a statement of anything underground is a liar. I will tell them in their face. They want to give the impression that the know but they don’t have an any knowledge at all. They must become politicians."

Cape Aquifer.

The shallow Cape Flats Aquifer can sometime be seen above ground, during times of high rainfall, and may lie as deep as 10 metres below ground at certain locations. This ground water source is replenished when it rains every year.

Table Mountain Group Aquifer.

Other ground water sources form part of the the Table Mountain Group Aquifer which lies much deeper. It is not uncommon for these borehole pumps to be sunk 80+ metres below. The problem with accessing this source of water lies in the extremely gradual recharge rate. This recharge rate is in terms of hundreds of years and not just one single year compared to the Cape Flats Aquifer. It is therefore not surprising that many shallower boreholes of 20 to 40 metres have dried up in recent years. Sucking water from this depth is unsustainable and costly.

Dry borehole.

I would not be surprised if you you know of a friend or neighbour who’s borehole has run dry in recent years. This is often the same story we hear from clients struck by the misfortune of their wellpoint or borehole drying up. For them we provide a sustainable solution to their water problem that still allows them to enjoy the bounty of their garden. It is true that we will not be able to supply thousands of litres of water to irrigate large water thirsty gardens daily but with our systems your garden is assured of water every day as long as you are still bathing, showering and doing laundry.

Cost of a borehole.

The cost of a borehole could be R50,000 + with the uncertainty of not knowing whether you will hit water or if it will dry up in the next year of two or you could spend between R8500.00 and R 12 000.00 on a greywater system and be guaranteed water everyday for many years to come.

Garden choice.

What choice will you be making this season as summer threatens the existence of your garden?

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