WATER USER ASSOCIATION
REPORT ON KAKAMAS WATER USER ASSOCIATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY
The Kakamas Water User Association With it offices in the town of Kakamas is situated 80 kilometres downstream of Upington in Lower Orange WMA number 14, in the Province of the Northern Cape.
The Kakamas WUA was established with the purpose of taking over the operations and maintenance of the Kakamas Government Water Scheme. It was established in terms of Section 98 (6) of the National Warer Act, 1998 by proclamation no.516 in Government Gazette no.22357 dated 15thJune 2001 after approval of its constitution by the Minister. Certain powers and duties in terms of the National Water Act have also been delegated to the Association to enable us to perform the operation and maintenance functions of the scheme.
2. Area of operation
The area of operation stretches on both sides of the Orange River from Neusberg Weir in the east to just downstream of the Augrabies Waterfall in the west.
The scheme consist of the Neusberg and Marchand Weirs in the Orange River, 75,4km concrete main canals, 68,9 km concrete secondary canals, 44km open storm water and subsurface drainage canals and 23km of subsurface pipe drains.
Bulk water is supplied within the borders of the association either through the canal systems or direct from the Orange River for irrigation, towns, settlements, industries and domestic and stock watering purposes. For irrigation purposes 8165.23 hectares is supplied with water from the canal system and 2444.07 hectares is supplied with water withdrawn directly from the Orange River through private waterworks. The Association is currently registered for 1 698 050 cubic metres of water for industrial use, 1 618 500 cubic metres of water for domestic and stock watering purposes and 159 139 500 cubic metres of water for irrigation purposes.
3. Schemes operated by Kakamas WUA:
kakamas Government Water Scheme
The Kakamas Water User Association has the following mandate:
a) Operation and maintenance of the Kakamas Government 'Water Schemes
b) Bulk raw water supply to everyone with a lawful entitlement in terms of section 22(1) of National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998)
c) Delegations as approved by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry
5 Details of the Customers/Water Users
In the Constitution of the Kakamas Water User Association two categories of water users were identified namely Category A which represent the local authority in the area communities on both sides of the river in the Kenhardt and Gordonia districts respectively, emerging farmers, industrial users, domestic users and environmental and recreation users. Category B represents water users in the agricultural sector with withdrawels either from waterworks on the scheme or direct from the Orange River. Details of each group of water users are briefly as follows:
The vast majority of water (98%) from this scheme is used to irrigate agricultural crops. The lawful entitlement amounts to a total registered volume of 159 139 500 cubic meters of water per annum. This volume of water represents scheduled areas of 8163.7 ha and 2444.07 ha out of the canal system and direct from the river respectively. The commercial irrigation farmers or irrigation units in the area of operation consist of 5% small farms, 23% medium farms, 35% large farms and 37% extra large farms with approximately 10 hectares, 25 hectares, 35 hectares and larger than 55 hectares respectively under irrigation.
The towns Kakamas, Marchand and Augrabies as well as the settlements of Lutzburg, Cillie and Aiheit form part of the Kai !Garip Municipality and withdraw water within the borders of the Association either through direct withdrawel from the Orange River by means of their own waterworks or from the canals or through a combination of the latter two. The reason for the combination of the withdrawe points is to ensure as far as possible that no disruption of water supply, especially for human consumption, occurs in abnormal circumstances like floods.
The Kai !Garip Municipality is the Service provider in terms of the Water Services Act throughout the whole area of operation of the Kakamas Water User Association and water is supplied to them in bulk
Normal growth of the towns and settlements mentioned above are foreseen for the next five to ten years and therefore it is unlikely that water demand will suddenly increase significantly. The lawful entitlement at this point in time is a registered volume of 1 698 050 cubic meters of water per annum.
Domestic water users are mostly farmers and farm labourers who use water from the canal network for domestic and livestock watering purposes. Their impact on the volume of water available is limited. The lawful entitlement at this point in time is a registered volume of 1 618 500 cubic meters of water cubic meters of water per annum.
Farming activities of emerging farmers in the area consist mainly of livestock farming and irrigation farming is limited at this point in time. The Association foresees development in this sector and therefore this group of potential water users is included for better representation, capacity building and empowerment of the former marginalized groups. Water is supplied to a joint venture between commercial farmers, emerging farmers and the Department of Public Works.
Current industrial use is solely for one or two small industries within the area of operation and the amount of water used is very limited regist2red volume of 0, 03 million cubic meters of water per annum. The major industries within the area of operation receive water from the local authority.
Environmental and recreation users
Users under this sector include the Augrabies National Park, Conservation, tour operators on the Orange River within the borders Association and other users who use the water for recreational purposes.
Elected or nominated delegates represent the users in the different sectors from each interest group as prescribed by the Constitution of the Kakamas Water User Association. The Management Committee for the Kakamas Water User Association comprises 15 members. The Management Committee is constituted as follows:
· Eight persons representing irrigation in the 8 Sub-areas
· One person representing emerging farmers
· One person representing domestic users
· One person representing the local authority
· Two persons representing the communities/farm workers
· One person representing industry
One person representing environmental and recreation users
Whenever a post on the management committee becomes vacant or the term has expired special efforts will be made to ensure the balance of representation in terms of race and gender will be taken into account.
7Role of the Kakamas Water User Association in service Delivery
As a bulk water supplier the role Kakamas Water User Association has to play in contributing to the targets of water supply to all South Africans by 2008 is in our opinion limited to the provision of raw water within the borders of the Association to the Service Provider with the least possible disruptions and at a affordable price especially where the water supply is done through the canal systems.
The Association does not supply purified water or any sanitation infrastructure. The Association is however aware that there will be a constant growing demand for water as the process of water supply to all South Africans continue and sanitation is upgraded from basic to waterborne sanitation.
The Association is committed to ensure that all infrastructures will be kept in such a condition as to meet this demand. Inputs regarding growing demands through the representative of the local authority to the management committee will be of great importance.
8Projects currently in consideration
Irrigation farming is the main activity within the borders of the Kakamas WUA. The Association is part of a technical committee looking into projects to establish emerging farmers within the borders of the Kakamas WUA as part of the allocation of the designated 4000ha along the Orange River. The Association has already indicated to the committee that the capacity exist in the existing canal system to irrigate an additional 900ha.
The Kakamas Water User Association supplies water for 20, C hectare from the canal system and 39,2ha direct from the river to a joint project between commercial farmers, emerging farmers and the Department of Public Works.
Awareness campaigns regarding gender and race representation will be done during meetings and information sessions
Planning of training sessions for all Management Committee members.
Assistance will be given to emerging farmers as soon as they are established. This will entail their registration to share in the subsidy scheme regarding water tariffs applicable to emerging farmers in terms of the Raw Water Pricing Strategy