A number of Agri Eastern Cape members in the Alexandria Agricultural Association lodged complaints regarding a farmer illegally over-abstracting ground water and selling it to the local Municipality (Ndlambe) without a water use license.
Agri EC investigated and established via a Promotion to Access Application, that this was indeed happening and that a number of boreholes on this farmers property had been connected to a supply line feeding the towns reservoirs, and this water was being sold to the Municipality.
Farmers surrounding this property where this abstraction was taking place started experiencing water shortages as their boreholes started drying up.
It was also established from the Department of Water and Sanitation that the ground water reserves in the area were investigated by their Rapid Response Unit and found to be weak and could not be sustainably abstracted for residential and commercial use. In spite of this (DWS) was reluctant to stop this unlawful use.
As such, Agri EC took the matter up, and successfully obtained an Order with costs, stopping this unlawful abstraction.
This again highlights the consequences of the over-abstraction of unsustainable ground water resources.