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Why GRIP: Ground Water Coordination


Due to the lack of coordination, knowledge & information on groundwater data, many unnecessary and unsuccessful boreholes were drilled during the preGRIP period. The DWA drought relief programme during the nineties is an excellent example of this. If the GRIP data were available during during the drought of 1992 to 1996, 70% of the water crisis could have been solved without having to spend any money.

Because the GRIP database was not available engineers had to be sent far and wide at great expense to check the water situation and find alternative ground water sources to supplement surface water sources. You can read the full report on the Middle Letaba Dam project here. Future crises like these can be avoided by applying three simple steps:

  • STEP 1: Collect all available information from GRIP to determine the budget that will be required for the groundwater source development
  • STEP 2: Appointment of groundwater consultants: Request quotations or cost estimates from groundwater consultants
  • STEP 3: Possible cost saving decisions to consider when implementing water supply projects

GRIP developed in the Limpopo province to capture data (borehole point data) and to use the data for management of groundwater with emphasis on water availability and aquifer characteristics.

GRIP can also serve as a Groundwater Resource Information Protocol in feasibility studies and other projects.

GRIP enhances and promotes the importance of groundwater in Limpopo Estimated groundwater use and yield figures differ so much that water resource planners and engineers were reluctant to include groundwater into the formal water sector, availability of the GRIP database is making it easier to include up to date and accurate groundwater numbers.

  • 75% of communities in Limpopo rely on ground water
  • Groundwater information is essential to water management
  • The adhoc development approach yields very poor results
  • Limited groundwater data was available pre-GRIP
  • Verified data plays a major role in planning for water resource development
  • GRIP allowed for the acquisition of tools such as aerial photography and Aster imagery (link to photographs and Aster images)

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