Alien vegetation affects Berg River water quality

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 24 May 2011

It will cost in the region of R300 million to remove alien vegetation from the Berg River that’s drastically affecting the water quality.

The Berg River’s degraded ecosystem is not being managed correctly

The river – 294km long – runs through several agricultural communities and is an important element in the development of the tourism industry in areas between Franschhoek and Velddrif.

Iaan Badenhorst, manager and resident at the Berg River Resort, said debris (mainly logs) and alien vegetation were the biggest problems in the Paarl area.

“The vegetation takes oxygen out of the water and affects the ecosystem. The government needs to put money into solving the problem when it can still be solved. This river is essential to farmers.

“Their business depends on the quality of the water. If it isn’t right the EU cancels export contracts, which is a major loss to the farmer and the local economy,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Francis Steyn, said the river’s degraded ecosystem was not being managed correctly and would “drastically affect” human health, the rural economy and ecosystem if nothing was done. Continue reading