KOGELBERG biosphere reserve
Invasive alien plants not only threaten our fynbos landscapes, they also threaten our water security.
Huge invasive trees have spread all along rivers and catchments across the Western Cape, including in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. These trees are thirsty and consume hundreds of litres of water each a day.
The catchments in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve are exceptionally important, as they provide water to the City of Cape Town. The importance of healthy-functioning ecosystems made headlines during the height of the drought in Cape Town in 2018, where the entire city faced Day Zero – the day that water ran out for Cape Town residents.
This highlighted the importance of removing thirsty alien plants from Kogelberg waterscapes. There are numerous alien clearing projects underway in the region – and the KBR plays a role in coordinating these various efforts, and provides support and advice to stakeholders regarding their invasive alien clearing projects.
Some of our partners who are involved in invasive clearing include:
- The Groenlandberg Water User’s Association (GWUA) which runs various alien-clearing projects in the Elgin Valley.
- WWF South Africa, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s LandCare division, the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association, CapeNature and The Nature Conservancy – all implementing invasive alien clearing activities.
The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is also working with the Greater Cape Town Water Fund, which is funded by The Nature Conservancy (an American non-profit organisation). This fund is bringing partners together around the common goal of restoring the surface water and aquifer catchments which supply Cape Town’s water.
Boreholes in the Kogelberg
During the height of the drought, the City of Cape Town launched emergency steps to source additional water, including drilling boreholes in and around Cape Town. Very little is known about the impacts of this drilling on underground water sources, as there’s little to no monitoring taking place currently.
While the drought is now no longer an immediate threat, drilling continues. The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is now working with relevant stakeholders to find ways of monitoring the impacts of this on the environment before it’s too late. It’s essential that drilling is done in a sustainable manner and that alternatives are also considered to groundwater abstraction. This is an ongoing project which the KBR Directors are closely involved in.
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If you live in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve region, you’re already enjoying Biosphere Life. That means you can already enjoy all that Mother Nature offers you here, in this incredibly special part of the world. MORE
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