DID YOU KNOW?
The Swartberg Nature Reserve was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004. This arid area is predicted to get hotter and drier with climate change. Most towns in the Karoo rely on groundwater as well as river water stored in dams, while planned fracking activities are a risk to the area's already threatened ground water supply.
Supplies water to
Alien Invasive Vegetation
Invasive alien trees that have spread through large parts of our country consume more than 2.9% of available water resources. In some catchments, water losses are higher than 25%. These losses contribute to biodiversity loss by crowding out indigenous species, devastating surrounding ecosystem.
Climate change is predicted to exacerbate risks associated with water scarcity and quality. Models show that the western parts of the country will receive less rain, whereas the central and eastern areas will receive more variable rainfall with more intense rainfall events.
Fracking is a technique used to exploit underground shale gas deposits which involves drilling and the injection of fluids at immense pressure into gas baring rocks. The technique has received substantial attention for its potential application in the Karoo. Fracking poses substantial risk of polluting ground and surface water, particularly when boreholes leak or fail. In a Water Source Area, such impacts could be catastrophic to downstream water users.
Fires are a part of the natural lifecycle of the Fynbos, savannah and grasslands but a higher frequency of fires doesn't allow enough time for natural ecosystems to recover. The impact is exacerbated by the presence of invasive alien trees that burn hotter and longer, causing greater damage to property and the environment. Higher intensity and frequency of fires means that precious soil is eroded and more easily washed away.
© COPYRIGHT WWF SOUTH AFRICA 2013-2019.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.