WaterRegReports

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Data and information on total rainfall, percentage of normal, percentage of long-term mean, shorter and long-term groundwater level trends are presented and discussed in this section. Groundwater level data is collected on a monthly basis, interpreted and reported on.

Water Regulation and Use Report: August 2014

Normal decline of groundwater levels into the dry season is the general trend at the majority of monitoring stations. The decline is mostly less than 0.4m since 1 April 2014. A number of stations indicating declining levels in excess of that are actually displaying abnormal high levels stabilizing after good recharge in March 2014. 67% of groundwater levels monitored are currently higher than the same period last year.

The general groundwater level status in Limpopo is regarded as good. Comparison with historical levels where available, indicates that the current levels are well above the level of concern.

Local deviations from the general trend are always present. The area affected can vary considerable depending on whether the impact is from over abstraction from a single borehole or more, or the combined effect of abstraction in an area. The only way to know if a resource is utilised in a sustainable manner is professional resource development, monitoring and resource management. Unfortunately this is seldom the case.

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Water Regulation and use Report: August 2014

Water Regulation and Use Report: June 2014

Good rainfall was recorded over much of the Province the past rainy season with exceptional high precipitation in some areas. The impact on groundwater levels at most of the stations is positive with 69% indicating higher levels than that of the corresponding time last year.

Compared to available historical data the current groundwater situation is considered to be very healthy in general.

Unfortunately some local deviations from the normal do occur which is mostly due to over abstraction for irrigation or community water supply. Sound resource management is necessary to ensure that the current favourable condition of the resource is maintained as much as possible to enable the sustainable use over the long-term.

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Water Regulation and use Report: June 2014

Water Regulation and Use Report: February 2014

The current wet season has reached midpoint and 68.5% of groundwater levels monitored indicates some rise since the start of the season. The groundwater level at 53.3% of stations monitored is currently lower than the corresponding time last year.

Despite a general slow declining trend evident at a large number of stations for some years indications are that the overall condition of the aquifers is good and well above levels of concern.

Late season rainfall during March was very intense in some areas and groundwater levels in these areas are expected to respond favourably by the end of the season.

Sound resource management is necessary to ensure that the current favourable condition of the resource is maintained as much as possible to enable the sustainable use over the long-term.

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Water Regulation and use Report: February 2014

Water Regulation and Use Report: November 2013

This report coincide with the end of the “dry” season and as can be expected was a general declining trend recorded for the past 6 months. The decline is mostly not significant with almost 60 % of groundwater levels currently higher than the corresponding time last year. Available long-term data indicates that the overall groundwater situation is in a healthy state.

An intense rainfall incident with high rainfall over a short period was experienced in January 2013 over most of the north-north eastern part of the Province which led to some dramatic responses in groundwater levels in that area. The groundwater situation in any area is dependent on local conditions, and deviations from the general trend are always present. The effect of water use and abstraction practices on the groundwater level trend need to be monitored to enable sustainable use.

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Water Regulation and use Report: November 2013

Water Regulation and Use Report: August 2013

It is midway into the dry season and as can be expected groundwater levels have generally been declining since the previous status report at the end of the wet season. The decline is mostly not significant over the past 3 months. The majority of groundwater levels are currently higher than the corresponding time last year. Available long-term data indicates that the overall groundwater situation is in a healthy state.

The groundwater situation in any area is dependent on local conditions, and deviations from the general trend are always present. The reasons for such deviations are not always clear and detailed investigations may be needed to understand the situation. In most instances however, the effect of water use and abstraction practices can be readily recognized in the groundwater level trend.

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Water Regulation and use Report: August 2013

Water Regulation and Use Report: June 2013

This is the first quarterly status report on monitoring and groundwater levels in the Limpopo for the 2013-2014 year. Groundwater level trends over the past quarter, the past rainy season and the past year is presented and discussed. The impact of the past season`s rainfall on groundwater levels varies in magnitude as well as spatially. Recharge generally took place early in the season with levels starting to decline over the second half of the wet season with 42% of the stations monitored recording lower groundwater levels at the end of the rainy season compared to the situation midway through. After the wet season, higher water levels than before the wet season were recorded at 79% of the stations.

The overall trend in groundwater levels is still a declining one, as has been the case for some time now. Comparison with historic long-term trends indicate this is a normal cycle that may continue for quite a number of years before the next major recharge event ending the cycle. Current water levels reflects a good situation and are generally still well above the worst recorded. It must be borne in mind that this trend cannot continue indefinitely before problems will arise, and it cannot be predicted how long this trend may continue before the next major recharge event occurs. The effect of global warming on climate adds to the uncertainty.

Groundwater is a valuable resource that can sustain the livelihood of a large number of people if scientifically assessed, developed and managed. The unseen nature of the resource prevents the identification of current or future problems that may exist or be expected, at a glance. This unfortunately led to poor understanding, misconceptions, mistrust, mismanagement and ultimately to failure. The management of groundwater by groundwater specialists is essential.

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Water Regulation and use Report: June 2013

Water Regulation and Use Report: February 2013

This report deals with the period representing the start to midway through the current wet season. Rainfall thus far varies over the province with respect to total recorded, intensity as well as period when it occurred. Extreme precipitation was recorded in the northern and north eastern parts of the Province and serious flooding occurred in some areas which prevented the collection of groundwater level data at some stations in these areas. The effect of the heavy rainfall on groundwater levels is very evident with levels rising dramatically over a short period of time. A 24m rise was observed at Tswera. Although most groundwater levels indicate a rise since the start of the rainy season it is not the case at all stations. A significant number, but not all, of stations not indicating a rise are however affected by abstraction.

Despite the widespread but varying recharge of groundwater indicated, it is mostly not sufficient to reverse the underlying long-term trend of slow decline. Comparing current groundwater levels with that of the corresponding time last year indicate that most levels are currently still somewhat lower than in February 2012. The overall decline is generally not large and is considered to be part of a long-term cycle. Available long-term data clearly indicate that the current situation represent a healthy resource as far as quantity is concerned. Local deviations to the general trend do occur and serious impacts by abstraction are notable in some localities and closer monitoring and sound aquifer management is required in these areas.

A serious matter of concern is the growing number of monitoring stations being forcibly opened, the monitoring instruments removed and pumps installed. Despite special locking lids, concrete construction around the boreholes, identification plates and awareness programs, incidents are increasing.

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Water Regulation and use Report: February 2013

Water Regulation and Use Report: August 2012

The past rainy season did not result in any significant recharge of groundwater except in the Mica area. Groundwater levels continue to decline slowly. 85.8% of the monitoring stations indicate lower groundwater levels than the same time last year. Long-term data available however indicate no need for immediate concern as cycles of declining/rising trends of medium to long-term are natural and current levels are generally above the worst recorded. Impacts by abstraction however leads to local deviations in the trend and cannot always be detected by the current monitoring characterized by a deviation from the general trend in groundwater levels have been identified and closer monitoring is being implemented or planned for some.

Periods of drought or recharge cannot be predicted and it is impossible to forecast what will happen in the future.

This highlights the need for sound aquifer characterisation and management.

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Water Regulation and Use Report: August 2012

Water Regulation and Use Report: June 2012

The general slow declining trend noted for some years still continues. Recharge the past rainy season was limited mostly to the escarp and eastward as well as the Waterberg mountainous area. Despite the good recharge in a few localised areas, the majority of groundwater levels are lower than last year at the same time. The northern part of the province experienced a dry season with virtually no recharge.

Long-term data available however indicate no need for immediate concern as cycles of declining/rising trends of medium to long-term are natural and current levels are generally above the worst recorded. This however does not imply that groundwater can be abstracted uncontrolled and unmanaged. Future recharge or drought periods cannot be predicted and climate change leads to erratic weather patterns. Data obtained from the groundwater monitoring network give an indication of the general situation over a large area and local circumstances may vary dramatically.

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Water Regulation and Use Report: June 2012

Water Regulation and Use Report: February 2012

Rainfall thus far the season varied considerably both in spatial distribution and intensity. The Eastern and South eastern part of Limpopo generally had more rain than the rest of the Province but a part of the western bushveld did receive good rains during December 2011 with some noticeable effect on the groundwater. In total the rainfall received up to now indicate a much drier season than the previous.

Groundwater levels did rise some in response to the rains in some areas but not widespread and generally limited to less than 50 cm. The regions north of the Soutpansberg and further westward still have mostly lower groundwater levels compared to last year. Long-term data available however indicate no need for concern as cycles of declining/rising trends of medium to long-term are natural phenomenon.

A general situation of healthy groundwater status does not lessen the need for sound aquifer management as local circumstances may vary dramatically over small distances due to abstraction.

Click on the link below to view the complete report. Water Regulation and Use Report: February 2012