"Watering holes has always been a reliable source of water for the animals but dried up due to the low rainfall"
All too often when we live in the city we take things like water and electricity for granted how easy it is when we are thirsty to open a tap and drink this life source. Out in the dry arid regions of our country and that of our neighbours, Namibia it can be a real problem for the people and animals trying to survive there.
In the Namibian bush, both commodities are in scares supply and often difficult to get to where it is needed the most. Erindi Ranch Private Game Farm in the North Central area of Namibia was faced with just such a problem recently, the dilemma being a waterhole that has always been a reliable source of water for the animals had dried up due to the low rainfall in this area over the past few years and was of major concern to the owners, Mr Joubert who had to take action before the animals left the area in search of another source of water or died.
Mr Joubert’s main concern was that there was no electric supply near to the dam and also no economically viable way of getting it there. This said, one of the major contributors to the monthly electric bill and high user of electricity are pumps and it is often overlooked as to what contributes to its high expense. Pumps are high user of electricity, making it that more important when choosing one that it is the most efficient and most cost-effective way of bringing water to source. The options on offer were diesel-powered engines or generator sets, which in itself is a high priced commodity as well as one of high maintenance with manual labour having to be used to check that it is switched on or off and also feeding it on a regular basis with fuel. Over and above all of these problems there is the problem of consistent noise and pollution to the fragile environment which, unless there is no other way is not normally an option at a game farm as animals do not like noise and is not conducive to good game viewing or the overall “safari” experience.
The other alternative was to get the local Electricity Board to lay down the expensive cables to the point of water supply (borehole) and connect it to the nearest electric grid which could be many miles away, this can also be an unreliable source due to power outages, dips in voltage, electric storms etc. Mr Joubert opted for the most obvious choice, a choice that is sustainable, low maintenance, reliable and efficient as well as a system that when set up correctly can operate by itself requiring very little to no hands-on operation. Over and above all of this once the initial investment is paid (between 3 to 5 years) there are no other costs incurred other than maintenance if required.
Erindi, with the assistance of ConServ, installed a Grundfos SQFlex solar-powered borehole unit. The SQFlex model SP3A-10 was installed at a depth of 30m pumping a total head of 25m and delivering 25m³/day along with 6 x 150Wp solar modules to produce the power necessary to achieve this duty. The miracle of water in such an area was witnessed almost immediately, transforming the area from a vacant cracked dry dam bed to one of “hippo heaven”. Slowly but surely the animals started to return to their usual drinking hole, crocodile, hippo, buck and lion have all since returned. ConServ the Grundfos local distributor in the area was involved with the project from design to final installation, assisting Erindi with all aspects until the delivery of the final result….life-giving water!
After witnessing such great results and being convinced that the Grundfos SQFlex Systems are indeed the best choice for their applications, the Joubert family has decided that all game water points will be equipped with the SQFlex pumps in the future. ConServ has started to convert the old diesel sites to Solar SQFlex deep well installations on the 70 000 hectares game ranch and it’s envisaged that all conversions have been complete.