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Study Area

The Greater Bloemfontein Supply System provides the majority of potable water requirements to Bloemfontein, Thaba Nchu, Botshabelo, Wepener, Dewetsdorp, Reddersburg, Edenburg, and Excelsior. Agricultural water requirements in the Modder-Riet catchment upstream of Krugersdrift Dam and along the Caledon River were also taken into consideration, as these water requirements may impact on the reconciliation of supply and requirement. The majority of the Greater Bloemfontein supply system is located within the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, which falls within the Motheo District Municipality. As such, the boundary of the Primary Study Area was defined by the municipal boundary of MMM. The Secondary Study Area is defined by the Caledon River, which is the main river system providing surface water to Bloem Water.

Study Area for the Greater Bloemfontein Water Supply System

The main storage dams of the Greater Bloemfontein Supply System are the Welbedacht, Knellpoort off-channel storage, Krugersdrift, Mockes, and Rustfontein dams. Bloem Water is the main supplier of bulk potable water to urban centres in the Modder / Riet sub-catchment. The other water service provider is MMM which supplies about 25% of Bloemfontein’s water requirements via the Maselspoort Scheme. The primary source of water is the Caledon and Orange rivers. As both of these river systems are a great distance from the water demand centres, several transfer schemes have been developed. The main transfer water supply schemes are: (1) the Caledon – Bloemfontein transfer which supplies Bloemfontein, Dewetsdorp, and small users from Welbedacht Dam, (2) the Maselspoort Scheme, and (3) the Caledon – Modder (also known as the Novo Transfer Scheme) which supplies water via the Rustfontein Treatment Works to Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, and Thaba Nchu.


The 2010 population in the Bloemfontein, Botshableo and Thaba Nchu area of supply is estimated to be 630 000 people. The population for the full supply area including the smaller towns is estimated to be 720 000 people. In order to estimate the future bulk water requirements, two population growth rates were developed. The high growth scenario is based on the IDP Report (2007/2008) which indicated that the future population growth rate for MMM will be 3.2% per annum. The low population growth scenario is based on the report entitled “Identification of Bulk Engineering Infrastructure in Support of Housing Development in Mangaung” which is a masterplan prepared for Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality determined that the anticipated population growth figures for Bloemfontein up to 2030 would be 1% per annum.

Economic Activities

Bloemfontein has been the focus of development in recent years which has resulted in the centralisation of services to Bloemfontein and also an increase in population.

Another development trend that is evident in all of the urban nodes of Motheo District Municipality is the increase in immigration to these small towns. This can primarily be attributed to farm workers leaving the farm to settle in town as a result of labour dispute or farmers having had to reduce the number of employees on the farm due to a decline in the agricultural sector. There is thus an increase in the number of informal settlements in these towns with Bloemfontein in particular experiencing high levels of influx (Motheo IDP, 2003).

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