Unexpected fresh water resource discovered in Beaufort West

File: Population growth, climate change, economic and agricultural expansion and deforestation are all placing greater pressures on the world's water supplies.

File: Water flowing in a dry riverbed. 

JOHANNESBURG – An unprecedented discovery of a freshwater resource has been found in Beaufort West, Western Cape, the Department of Mineral Resources said on Tuesday. 

The town has been hard-hit by the massive drought gripping the province. 

According to the department, 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.

The department said the preliminary results indicate that the water is of good quality and suitable for drinking and other uses. 

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Mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the much-needed water resource brings about a huge relief to the drought-stricken Beaufort West town and the Western Cape Province.

Zwane had directed the CGS to conduct a baseline study to enable government to make informed decisions related to science-based evidence on the development of shale gas resources in the vast Karoo Basin of South Africa.

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He applauded the application of science in delivering much-needed solutions to society.

Once the CGS finishes its surveying at the end of January 2018, five boreholes will be officially handed to the municipality to ensure that the people of Beaufort West and nearby communities can have access to water.”

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