Municipal manager Thablo Ndlovu says Bitou has taken massive strides in utilising drought relief funding to boost the area’s water security.
When the town was declared a local disaster area in May this year, Bitou submitted requests to national and provincial government for funding for drought relief projects.
The municipality subsequently received R10.92-million from the national disaster management centre and a further R1.8-million from the Western Cape provincial government.
Ndlovu explained that Bitou relied on various water sources including the town’s desalination plant, surface and groundwater sources with the Keurbooms, Bitou, Wit and Groot rivers the main contributors.
“River water is being channelled to the Plettenberg Bay and Kurland water purification works. Water not accommodated in the current purification cycle is channelled to an offshore storage at the Roodefontein dam,” Ndlovu said.
Groundwater could provide immediate relief. “Nine boreholes have already been drilled and financed through own funding, with a 10th borehole yet to be drilled.”
Ndlovu said the funding received would be used equip the 10 exploration boreholes with electricity supply, permanent pumps and pipelines to extract water and channel it to the relevant purification plant.
There are two boreholes at Forest View, another two in Kwanokuthula, four at George Fault East and two in Kurland.
“These production boreholes will take the water supply capacity from 22Ml/day to 27Ml/day.”
Ndlovu added that the healthy rainfall during July and August, of 58.7mm and 107.8mm respectively, boosted the Roodefontein dam level to stand at 62.8%.
“This will supply Bitou residents with potable water for 90 days.”
He urged all residents and visitors to use water sparingly and adhere to the area’s Stage 1 water restrictions