7.1 The Need for Artificial Recharge – Setting the Scene

Kharkams is a small village with a population of 1700 in the semi-arid Namaqualand region of South Africa. Namaqualand receives winter rainfall, on average less than 200 mm. There are no perennial rivers in the area and water is obtained from subterranean sources. During the short spring in this region, between August and September, a few drops of rain transform the arid landscape with vast expanses of wild flowers of every shape and color, creating carpets of bright orange and yellow as shown on Figure 34 (Travel Guide, 2020). A summary of the Kharkams system is provided in Table 8.

Photo of wild flowers in Namaqualand

Figure 34  Wild flowers in Namaqualand (Travel Guide, 2020).

Table  Kharkams scheme.

Name of scheme Kharkams
Location Village in Namaqualand, South Africa
Mean annual rainfall < 200 mm
Source of water Flood water (irregular)
Type of aquifer Hard rock (granites and gneisses) aquifer
End use of water Domestic use
Type of managed aquifer recharge Borehole injection
Current average volume of water recharged 1 L/s maximum injection rate
Volume of water recovered 0.005 Mm3/year
Year commenced 1995
Owner/management of scheme Kamiesberg local municipality
Unique attributes of this MAR scheme Only source in arid remote area; cheap and simple technology


Managed Aquifer Recharge: Southern Africa Copyright © 2021 by Eberhard Braune and Sumaya Israel. All Rights Reserved.