Despite abundant surface water resources, groundwater resources have played a crucial role in water supply for both rural villages and urban centres in Lesotho. Both developed and undeveloped springs, hand-pumps, production boreholes and direct river abstraction systems all depend on groundwater resources.
However, the groundwater sources generally yield low quantities, with only 12% of 818 wells tested yielding water flow above 1 L/s. In the lowlands, 3 300 wells served the rural population, and 10% of all urban domestic requirements were supplied by groundwater in 1995 (Aquastat Lesotho 2009).
The Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) in Lesotho is responsible for water supply and sanitation in the 13 urban areas within Lesotho, all of which are part of the Orange-Senqu River basin. In Butha-Buthe, Hlotse, Mapoteng, Maputsoe, Mohale’s Hoek, Morija, Peka, Quthing, Roma and Teyateyaneng, surface water resources are used, supplemented by groundwater. Maseru and Mafeteng are supplied from surface water resources only.
Distribution of small-scale water supply schemes in Lesotho.
( click to enlarge )
Water for the Maseru Water Treatment Works is abstracted directly from the Mohokare (Caledon) River. A pumping station situated alongside the river supplies up to 10 000m3/day to the Maqalika Reservoir, with a storage capacity of 3,7 Mm3, to ensure adequate raw water during periods of low flow in the river.
- Roma is supplied from 6 boreholes in the Qhobosheaneng Valley, which can produce up to 400 m/day. Surface water is abstracted from the Liphiring stream and pumped to the treatment works adjacent to the pumping station. Water is also pumped into an off-channel storage reservoir (Lepae Dam) with a capacity of 45 000 m3.
- Mapoteng is a small town located within the Berea District. The town’s water demand is supplied from a spring located about 20 km east of the town in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains.
- The Peka water supply scheme consists of a number of well-points in the Mohokare River, situated west of the town. There is no treatment facility.
- Teyateyaneng’s water supply scheme is supplemented from two sources, the Phuthiatsana River north of town and the St. Anges well-field 3 km to the west. Additionally, in the Phuthiatsana River valley many well-points and boreholes are also used. The St. Anges well-field comprises four production boreholes delivering approximately 140 m³/day.
- The Hlotse water supply scheme comprises a number of well-points in the Hlotse River, with a combined yield of 800 to 950 m³/day, and four production boreholes in the Hlotse River catchment yielding 280 m³/day. Water is supplied to a local treatment works whence it is pumped to the centre of the town.
- The water supply scheme at Maputsoe comprises three sources and infrastructure. The Mohokare River, a new well-point system supplying 200 m³/day with further four well-points supplying up to 500 m³/day, and a borehole supplying 300 m³/day.
- Butha-Buthe is supplied with water from two sources: groundwater abstracted from boreholes and surface water of the Moroeroe Stream.
- Mafeteng receives its water from Rasebala Dam, located a few kilometres to the south-east of the town centre. Two boreholes are also in operation near to the dam, which with the dam, supplies approximately 250 m3/day.
- Two sources of water supply Morija. A number of boreholes in the valley of the Lerato River can deliver up to 325 m3/day, and a small soil conservation dam close to the western edge of the town can provide up to 80 m3/day.
- Mohale’s Hoek uses three sources of water to meet its requirements. The wellpoints in the Makhaleng River can abstract about 900 m3/day. A borehole to the east of town delivers raw water to a reservoir at a rate of 50 m3/day. Finally, a well south of town delivers untreated water at a rate of up to 150 m3/day.
- The source of water for Quthing is the Qomoqomong River
3 300 groundwater wells serve the rural population.
( click to enlarge )