THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) has explored an alternative water source in the metro to ensure a total of 15 to 30 megalitres of water per day upon completion. The drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay will make use of boreholes as an alternative source for augmenting the city’s water supply from the five bore holes located in the Motherwell area.Construction is currently underway at the Coegakop Wellfield and Water Treatment Works in Motherwell. According to the Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, this more than R200 million project will secure water resources and sustainability for the city.“The planning for the project started in 2010 to be able to source more water during a drought. Water is one of the most basic services the communities need from the municipality for sustainability. The new water plan will also assist the farming communities. “We are not only going to rely on rain and want to use other avenues to ensure the residents have access to water,” Bobani said. The city has developed the Coegakop Wellfield, which will supplement the current water supplies from the Nooitgedacht dam via the Coegakop reservoir to supply the community of Motherwell with water. According to Barry Martin, director for Water and Sanitation, R230 million has been allocated to treat the groundwater at the planned treatment works, with boreholes drilled up to 200m deep. Phase two of drilling has been successful.“The Coegakop Wellfield has been identified as the best groundwater supplier in the city. The water from Nooitgedacht goes into the Motherwell reservoir from Grassridge and Olifantskop and also deposited into the Coegakop reservoir. “The groundwater that we are drilling at the moment will go to the Coegakop reservoir, once treated. “We are currently broadening our water supply base and we hope that in future, we will have 10% of water being supplied from this resource,” Martin added. According to MMC for Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy, Andile Lungisa, water security is critical for the city’s sustainability, economic growth and job creation. In addition, a water treatment works will be constructed to integrate the water into the main drinking water supply.The project is well underway for the drilling of the production boreholes. “This also includes the construction of the raw and final water rising mains from the borehole site to the water treatment works inlet and outlet to the Coegakop reservoir. Martin further explained, “The water quality is good with a very low salinity although iron and manganese will need to be removed. Phase three of the project is scheduled for completion in 2019, after which the water treatment facility (phase four) will commence.”The average dam level in the metro is 53.83% of total combined capacity. The Kouga Dam is currently at 53.76%, Churchill Dam at 99.11%, Impofu Dam at 37.57% and Loerie Dam at 71.74% as on November 12. The estimated completion date for the Coegakop Wellfields project as a whole is June 2020.