Hoerikwaggo Critical Zone Observatory

Lechelle Goslin

Under the direction of the City of Cape Town and in association with major engineering consultancies, Umvoto Africa initiated three major groundwater supply studies to: (1) explore the development potential of two major aquifers accessible to Cape Town, namely the primary Cape Flats Aquifer and fractured Table Mountain Group Aquifers; and (2) to rehabilitate and upgrade the existing wellfield and managed aquifer recharge (MAR) scheme for the Atlantis Aquifer.  

TUF’s first initiative, the Hoerikwaggo Critical Zone Observatory, began with a growing understanding that these groundwater supply studies being undertaken were not designed with the capacity to address the impact of behaviour and social conditions on the aquifer (i.e. the concept of “social hydrogeology”). As a part of this work, TUF worked with the community to identify specific concerns and perceptions. This included a focus on the balance between urban development and nature conservation, and a greater understanding of the ways community and individual behaviour can impact ecosystem function.  

Drawing on community input, a collaborative team comprised of Anni Snyman, Eugenie Grobler, and katty vandenberghe and TUF created the Water Catcher video.