If you happen to see a helicopter flying overhead with a UFO-like “wagon-wheel attached to the underside of it”, don’t worry, that’s just the City of Cape Town this week surveying the Cape Flats aquifer.
In a statement published to the City of Cape Town’s media portal, mayor Patricia De Lille outlined the process that will map the aquifer.
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This is another step in the City’s groundwater extraction plan.
“These airborne surveys will be conducted using a helicopter, like the one used today, that has a measuring device in the shape of a wagon-wheel attached to the underside of it,” De Lille notes.
“The helicopter will be flying approximately 60 to 70 m above the ground using underslung measuring equipment (electromagnetic loop) flying around 30 – 40 m above ground.
“The method being used for the survey will not pose any danger to residents.”
Although a rather nifty piece of electronics, it does resemble something you’d more likely find in a swimming pool.
It’s not a UFO: This amazing local technology, a helicopter flying an electro magnetic loop is doing geophysical surveys to determine prime locations for ground water abstraction from various Aquifers to augments our water supplies. pic.twitter.com/K88NxYf1N9
— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) November 26, 2017
The Cape Flats aquifer is currently one of three underground water reservoirs being investigated by the City, including the Atlantis-Silwerstroom and the Table Mountain Group aquifer.
While the Table Mountain Group aquifer is currently being drilled by the City, the Atlantis-Silwerstoom aquifer has already undergone a survey. The City notes that work will begin to extract water from the latter “this week”.
“The refurbishment of boreholes and other infrastructure at the Atlantis-Silwerstroom Aquifer has already increased production by an additional five million litres of water per day. It is expected that the Atlantis-Silwerstroom Aquifers will bring an additional 25 million litres of water per day from July 2018,” De Lille continues.
Notably, the Cape Flats aquifer will also only supply 25-million litres of water per day to Cape Town in June 2018. This may be one month after the current Zero Day of 6 May 2018.
Today I share our new weekly Water Dashboard to show the @CityofCT‘s progress on 7 augmentation projects. It also shows how only 44% of Capetonians are saving water by keeping below the 87l per day. We must work together to avoid #DayZero pic.twitter.com/mIW6RPaypL
— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) November 23, 2017
“All of the City’s augmentation programmes work hand in hand with Cape Town’s amazing efforts to save water and avoid Day Zero,” De Lille concludes.