KOUGA’S search for extra groundwater to increase the water supply to towns is bearing fruit. Almost 30 exploratory boreholes have been sunk over the past year at Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Oyster Bay, Hankey and Patensie.“Of the 26 target sites that have already been explored, 18 delivered water, although not always in quantities that make it viable as an alternative supply,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said. “We are especially grateful that we have found potential boreholes for Hankey, as water rationing continues to be implemented both here and in Patensie due to the limitations that the Department of Water and Sanitation has placed on extraction from the Kouga Dam.”Eight exploratory boreholes have been drilled in the vicinity of Hankey, with three delivering yields.“The boreholes are situated several kilometres from the town. Our next priority is equipping and connecting the boreholes to the existing water supply. This will be funded through the drought-relief grant that the municipality recently secured,” Hendricks said.He said four boreholes had also been drilled in the vicinity of the Kouga Dam as a potential alternative for Patensie, but that the yields were disappointingly low.Borehole drilling has also been ongoing at Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and Oyster Bay.“There are two drill rigs currently exploring target sites at Humansdorp and Oyster Bay. “Three boreholes were already drilled at Oyster Bay last year when we started the search, with two delivering usable yields. We do, however, need to augment this supply further so as to ensure that the municipality can continue meeting the water requirements for the town,” Hendricks said.Two probe holes and two boreholes, delivering a combined total of 820kl per day, were drilled at Humansdorp during the previous financial year. A third borehole was completed last week, with drilling at another potential site currently in progress.“Both Humansdorp and Jeffreys Bay already make ample use of borehole water. Between 30% and 40% of the water consumed by residents are from boreholes, with the remainder coming from the storage dams,” Hendricks said.“We would like to decrease these towns’ dependency on the storage dams for water, as the dams are managed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, which also uses the bulk of the water.”One borehole has been rehabilitated and five new boreholes drilled over the past year at Jeffreys Bay, all with promising yields.“Despite this progress, it remains critical that we all continue to save water,” the Mayor cautioned. “None of the boreholes, except those at Oyster Bay, has been connected to the existing water supply as yet and, with the holiday influx upon us, the demand on our water sources will be very high over the next few months.”He said procurement processes were underway for the connections and certain upgrades needed at the water treatment works for the extra groundwater to be added to the current supply.