The City of Cape Town is currently performing aerial assessments of subterranean aquifers under the areas of Mitchell’s Plain, Khayalitsha, Philippi and Atlantis, with the aim to provide an additional supply of water through groundwater extraction.

Airborne surveys were conducted on Sunday using a helicopter fitted with an electromagnetic loop, with a helicopter flying 60-70m above ground to determine where the highest volume of water can be abstracted from the aquifers. Environmental and ecological considerations were taken into account to ensure zero disruptions.

A survey has already been completed of the Atlantis-Silwerstroom aquifer which has been estimated to bring an additional 25-million liters of water per day beginning from July 2018, while the Cape Flats aquifer could return the same volume from June 2018.

Both fall under the broader Table Mountain Group aquifer, with more locations being assessed as part of the water resilience project which aims to ensure increased water security next year. A yield of 10-million liters of water will be pumped into the Steenbras Dam as the first phase of the project, and approximately 50-60 million liters of additional water will be extracted from the Helderberg, South Peninsula and Wemmershoek aquifers.


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Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When Justin's not covering a story, he can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and is currently learning herbalism.