Kenrock Country Estate Monitoring
Following the completion of the 2018 groundwater assessment of Kenrock Country Estate, Umvoto was appointed Kenrock Homeowners’ Association to undertake a review of the estate’s Operational Environmental Management Programme (OEMP). This review was undertaken to determine whether the estate currently operates in an environmentally sustainable manner and to provide monitoring recommendations to ensure that the estate is not contaminating the environment through any operations. One of the recommendations of the review was to implement a groundwater management programme (including both groundwater quality and levels), which Umvoto has implemented and undertaken on behalf of the homeowners’ association.
Imhoff Park is a proposed development in Welgemoed, Bellville, near the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. The idea is to upgrade the existing Imhoff Park, currently occupied with slides and jungle gyms, into a sprawling botanical green space that will host an array of Renosterveld fynbos with surface streams and eco-pools. Umvoto was appointed by Welgemoed City Improvement District (CID) to investigate the surface water and groundwater setting of the drainage line which runs through the proposed development to assess the feasibility of the development and legislative triggers thereof.
A site visit to Tygerberg Nature Reserve, Imhoff Park, and Bellville Golf Course was undertaken to investigate the physical and hydrochemical state of the hydrogeological system and the influence that the proposed development may have on its surroundings. A comprehensive desktop study and analysis were also carried out. The results suggested that the system is an interflow seep of groundwater rather than a spring-fed system. A full slope analysis and watershed delineation, together with hydro-climatological data, allowed for a comprehensive analytical water balance to be carried out. This assessed the amount of water that is seasonally available to flow through the proposed botanical space to determine if the development is feasible in terms of the hydrological system.
The next step would be to develop hydrological and hydrogeological numerical models to improve understanding of the system, undertake a detailed investigation to establish the Present Ecological State (PES) and Ecological Water Requirement (EWR) of the water course, and to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) if deemed necessary by the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).
Groundwater Investigations for the Agricultural Sector
Throughout the Western Cape (and the country at large) the 2015-2018 “Day Zero” drought served as a sobering wake-up call that water supply, storage and security are crucial to the success of any industry. For the agricultural sector this is truer than in most others, as the ability to irrigate is directly linked to the ability to generate products or make a loss.
In 2021 Umvoto assisted a number of commercial agricultural producers to identify groundwater potential, develop groundwater resources sustainably and regularise their use of our unseen resource in line with the National Water Act (NWA). Set in areas with diverse geological and hydrogeological characteristics, Umvoto’s expertise in unlocking the groundwater potential of farms wowed and stunned at certain times. The work undertaken by Umvoto encompassed areas around Piketberg, Porterville and Ceres. Making use of the extensive knowledge (gained from years of working in these areas), with the combination of rigorous data and literature review, detailed site characterisation and strict adherence to scientific best practice, paved the way for a greater understanding of the unseen resource below their feet and the provision of groundwater for irrigation.