A novel approach for providing potable water in rural Sodwana Bay, northern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Many people living in the Sodwana area of South Africa do not have access to potable water. Groundwater is the best source of fresh water for the rural community. Potable water in the Zululand coastal plain, Sodwana, South Africa can be enhanced by: (i) providing detailed information on the aquifer system using geophysics; (ii) providing information on groundwater quality and its efficient use; (iii) providing low-cost/low technology local drillers with light-weight, manoeuvrable rigs with trained teams for drilling of 6-inch diameter boreholes. The electrical resistivity geophysical method was used to study the aquifer system and define viable groundwater zones. The electrical resistivity survey increased the borehole success rate by providing information on the aquifer system suitable for water extraction. A hydrocensus was also conducted for identifying boreholes, quality of drilling and for collecting samples for water quality analysis. The result indicated that the groundwater in the area is of suitable quality. Poor quality drilling and inadequate drilling depth indicated a requirement for improved drilling rigs and suitable training. Providing the rural community with suitable drilling equipment, training and adequate information will help to solve the problem of water scarcity and also create jobs.

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