Orange River users to be verified
Bloemfontein - A process to see if consumers along the upper Orange River used the amounts of water they had registered for would start next month, the water affairs department said on Thursday.
During the process the unlawful use, specifically the taking and storing of water in dams, would be determined, deputy director Vernon Blair said.
The process would give water users an opportunity to check the accuracy of the department's data.
Published water rights, field survey data, aerial photography, satellite images and direct contact with water users would be employed to determine the extent and lawfulness of water use.
Blair acknowledged that the pattern of some water usage, especially irrigation, might have changed since the date of first registration.
"In order to eliminate unnecessary conflict and extensive correspondence later we need to communicate with water users."
The department intended holding meetings with role players in the different areas along the upper Orange River region.
Preliminary indications were that nearly 4 000 properties in the upper Orange River region had registered for water use. Similar projects were underway in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Midvaal region.