Water is an absolute necessity. At Hillcrest Game Estates arrangements must be made to ensure that all animals are never without non-contaminated water. The farm gets its water from two borehole sources. To prevent sicknesses, our three large 1 are cleaned each week. Water leakages are prevented by checking all pipelines and water trough ball-valves. This check is conducted on a daily basis.
At first, solar-power generation is used for water extraction and pumping to the central reservoir. Thereafter, gravity-feed is used for distribution to all camps from the central reservoir. These three water tanks (30 000 liters in total) provide sufficient water to 15 camps. Each camp is approximately 50 hectares in size and contains three water troughs. Parasite build-up is prevented by regular rotation of these water troughs.
Hillcrest General Manager, Piet Botma reports that the December and January months of this (2018) year have started out extremely dry. Thankfully Botma adds that “rain started to fall in the last week of January, turning Hillcrest into a paradise. Within 3 weeks, a total of 265mm rain was measured, transforming the dry earth into lush beautiful pastures.”
From time to time, the falling of abundant rains does however cause some damage. The most recent March-rains were accompanied with some damage being caused to the farm’s internal network of dirt roads. Accordingly, the Hillcrest team have been spending a lot of time repairing damaged farm roads.
However, despite some frustration resulting from the damage to roads due to the recent rains, an overall mood of happiness always prevails when farmers and their lands receive much-needed rain. Botma maintains that 100% of a farmer’s problems are solved when abundant rains arrive.
In closing, it is worthwhile mentioning that wise water management practices also impacts veld-fire management and prevention. In the case of veld-fire emergencies, firefighters will make use of water from these tanks.
Inset: Farm foreman Bennie Groenewald inspects the water tanks.