Lit­ter, reeds ta­king o­ver the wa­ter fur­rows of Aberdeen

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Classifieds -

The ir­ri­ga­ti­on fur­rows in Aberdeen, which trans­port wa­ter to a­bout 100 pro­per­ties in the to­wn, are not de­li­ve­ring the wa­ter that is ex­pected, and ac­cor­ding to ma­ny frus­tra­ted re­si­dents, this is lar­ge­ly due to lack of main­te­nan­ce by the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

“We un­der­stand that the­re is a droug­ht and that the wa­ter flow will be we­a­ker, but the­re is de­fi­ni­te­ly wa­ter en­te­ring the sy­stem from the eye in Fon­tein­bos,” said one. A s­mall group of re­si­dents went to Fon­tein­bos last week, to see the pro­blems at the sour­ce, and in­deed the­re are ma­ny. In pla­ces, the track of the stre­am is al­most 40m be­low the pathways, in a deep ra­vi­ne, and the­re is a gre­at de­al of ve­ge­ta­ti­on that will need to be cle­a­red, by ex­perts. The­re is de­fi­ni­te­ly still a flow of wa­ter co­ming from the sour­ce, but most of that wa­ter is not re­a­ching the u­sers.

On the out­skirts of to­wn, the in­co­ming wa­ter sup­ply meets a weir, and the fur­row sy­stem is fed from just a­bo­ve the weir. At pre­sent, the wa­ter le­vel is a­bout 20cm be­low the weir wall.

The­re are pro­blems he­re, with cracks in the weir, with the wa­ter flo­wing through gaps and trickling do­wn to the Kraai ri­ver. At le­ast two re­si­dents ha­ve ma­de at­tempts to ef­fect a tem­po­ra­ry re­pair he­re by fil­ling the gaps, but w­hen chec­ked the fol­lo­wing day, it seems that lo­cal child­ren, who li­ke to play in the swim­ming ho­les for­med, ha­ve re­mo­ved the plug­ging ma­te­ri­al to get mo­re wa­ter in­to their pools.

The­re are ma­ny pla­ces in the sy­stem flo­wing through the to­wn w­he­re blocka­ges re­gu­lar­ly occur, so­meti­mes due to ve­ge­ta­ti­on that is not cle­a­red a­way, and ot­her man­ma­de pro­blems with lit­ter such as emp­ty plas­tic bott­les and pac­kets. U­sed nap­pies ha­ve al­so been dum­ped at so­me pla­ces.

So­me pro­per­ty o­w­ners ha­ve fen­ced in their grounds in such a way that the fur­row ac­tu­al­ly is in­si­de their boun­da­ry. This is char­ged as an en­cro­a­chment by the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, and as long as tho­se con­cer­ned keep the fur­row cle­an and al­low the wa­ter to flow, it does not pre­sent a pro­blem. Ho­we­ver not all of tho­se con­cer­ned are doing this, and se­ver­al frus­tra­ted ir­ri­ga­ti­on wa­ter u­sers ha­ve re­por­ted that on ma­ny oc­ca­si­ons, t­hey ha­ve had to ask o­w­ners to cle­ar blocka­ges.

Not all of tho­se pro­per­ties en­tit­led to ha­ve access to the wa­ter ac­tu­al­ly ma­ke use of it: a few ha­ve bo­re­ho­les, so­me of the pro­per­ties are emp­ty, and ot­her pe­op­le are not in­te­rested as t­hey are not gar­de­ners. Tho­se re­si­dents who re­ly on the wa­ter for their gar­dens of­ten ha­ve to cle­ar the fur­rows a­he­ad of them on the sy­stem, in­clu­ding tho­se pas­sing ot­her pe­op­le’s pro­per­ties, and w­he­re the chan­nel g­oes un­der a ro­ad. So­me i­ra­te u­sers go as far as to claim that ot­hers are acti­ve­ly sa­bo­ta­ging the sy­stem, by de­li­be­ra­te­ly fil­ling the fur­row with mud and ot­her de­bris.

Trucks from a con­structi­on com­pa­ny ha­ve ad­ded to the pro­blem, by ta­king wa­ter from a­bo­ve the weir for their buil­ding acti­vi­ties. Ac­cor­ding to a mem­ber of the ward com­mit­tee, t­hey ha­ve been gi­ven a fi­nal war­ning a­bout this by the lo­cal ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on.

Ma­ny pe­op­le who ha­ve mo­ved to the to­wn in the last few y­e­ars boug­ht their spe­ci­fic pro­per­ty due to its access to the ir­ri­ga­ti­on wa­ter. So­me ha­ve in­ves­ted a gre­at de­al of ti­me, ef­fort and mo­ney in es­ta­blis­hing lar­ge ve­ge­ta­ble gar­dens, on­ly to find that in the last few weeks the­re has been no wa­ter a­vai­la­ble at all du­ring their turn. A lo­cal guest hou­se o­w­ner is st­rug­gling to keep trees and plants in her lush gar­den a­li­ve - and t­he­se are one of the at­tracti­ons which bring gue­sts to the ac­com­mo­da­ti­on.

A group of con­cer­ned re­si­dents has ar­ran­ged a meet­ing to try to co­me up with a so­lu­ti­on to the main­te­nan­ce of the fur­rows in to­wn and on the out­skirts. Inste­ad of se­ver­al pe­op­le e­ach trying to fix a s­mall part of the pro­blem, t­hey be­lie­ve that if e­nough pe­op­le are wil­ling to help, a con­cer­ted ef­fort would yield much bet­ter re­sults.

All agree that in the­o­ry, the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty should be u­sing the mo­ney that is paid e­very month for access to the ir­ri­ga­ti­on wa­ter to main­tain the fur­rows. Ho­we­ver, as this is cle­ar­ly not hap­pe­ning, t­hey would li­ke to work to­get­her so that this va­lu­a­ble re­sour­ce can be u­sed as it was in­ten­ded.

The meet­ing will be held at the ho­me of To­ny and Ju­dith Dar­dis, at 7 Zier­vo­gel S­treet, on Mon­day 3 De­cem­ber at 15:00. All who ma­ke use of the ir­ri­ga­ti­on wa­ter are ur­ged to at­tend, as well as anyo­ne el­se in­te­rested in main­tai­ning this va­lu­a­ble struc­tu­re.

Dis­car­ded bott­les blocking the flow.

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