CAPE TOWN, An unprecedented discovery of a fresh water resource has been found in Beaufort West in South Africa’s Western Cape Province which has been in the grip of a two-year drought, says the Department of Mineral Resources.
The resource was discovered by the Council for Geoscience (CGS), a statutory Science Council reporting to the Minister of Mineral Resources, while conducting research on the development of shale gas in the Beaufort West area in the northeastern corner of the province, some 460 kilometres northeast of the Provincial capital, Cape Town.
The preliminary results indicate that the water is of good quality for drinking and other uses. South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the much-needed water resource brings a huge relief to the drought-stricken Beaufort West area and to Western Cape Province as a whole.
Zwane had directed the CGS to conduct a baseline study to enable the government to make informed decisions on the balance of science-based evidence on the development of shale gas resources in the vast Karoo Basin of South Africa.
A geo-scientific team from the CGS has concluded the geological mapping, geophysical survey (both ground and air-bourne), hydro-geological monitoring (which is continuous until the drilling of a deep borehole of more than 3,000 metres) and environmental screening,” the department said in a statement.
The water boreholes intended for the baseline studies and future monitoring of the water resource have also been used to pilot the casing methods to ensure maximum protection of the water resource in the Karoo.”
The final characterization of the five boreholes will be concluded by the end of January, 2018.
The research work will be done in stages in order to minimize the potential impact of drilling to the environment. In due course, the borehole will be officially handed to the municipality to ensure that the people of Beaufort West and nearby communities can have access to water, the department said.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK