Eastern Cape, South Africa

Water cuts result in a difficult year for Gamtoos Valley farmers

Tough water restrictions for the new water year are putting serious pressure on many farmers in the Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape, with some operating in survival mode, according to Rienette Colesky, CEO of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board.

From the beginning of July, the 132 water users in the Gamtoos Valley, who rely exclusively on the Kouga Dam for their daily water needs, will be able to draw just 20% of their full annual water quotas. Currently, the dam level stands at 6,92%.

Colesky stressed that dairy farmers, in particular, would experience a difficult year.

She also told Farmer’s Weekly that several farmers, who were pre-packaging their produce and have contracts with retailers, rented land in areas not dependent on the Kouga Dam in order to fulfill their contracts and deliver their produce.

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