PROPOSED ENLARGEMENT OF OUDE SCHUUR DAM (DAM 1) AND BLIKKIES DAM (DAM 5), THE DECOMMISSIONING OF FOUR SMALLER DAMS AND THE EXPANSION OF AGRICULTURAL AREAS AND ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE NEAR WORCESTER, WESTERN CAPE: NOTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT FOR COMMENT
SCOPING AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCESS:
(DEA&DP Ref No.: 16/3/3/2/B2/32/1024/21)
(Heritage Western Cape Ref No.: 19091603SB1002E)
(Department of Water & Sanitation WULA Ref: WU11403)
Villion Farms (Pty) Ltd (i.e. “the Applicant”) proposes to consolidate their current water storage by means of enlarging the Oude Schuur Dam (Dam 1), enlarging the Blikkies Dam (Dam 5), decommissioning four smaller dams, as well as to expand agricultural areas, and associated infrastructure, on the Oude Schuur Farm, located approximately 17 km east of Worcester, within the Breede Valley Municipality, in the Western Cape Province.
The main purpose of the proposed project is to allow the Applicant to be able to store their water more efficiently (less evaporation losses) by consolidating the existing storage on the farm, as well as having more areas available for potential future agricultural expansion. The proposed project would also allow the Applicant to save in electricity costs due to the higher location of the proposed enlarged Dam 1. Water under gravity would then supply irrigation areas during peak irrigation times.
The proposed project, includes the following:
- Enlargement of Dam 1 (also referred to as Oude Schuur Dam), from its current storage capacity of 80 000 m3 to a storage capacity of approximately 400 000 m3;
- Enlargement of existing Dam 5 (also referred to as Blikkies Dam) from its current storage capacity of 123 000m3 to 152 000 m3;
- A new 500 mm diameter water pipeline (approximately 3 km in length) from the enlarged Dam 1 to the existing Dam 4a (Dooie Dam);
- A new 315 mm diameter connection water pipeline at Dam 5 (approximately 41 m in length) with a new booster pump station (approximately 4 m by 4 m). An underground power cable with a length of approximately 780 metres and a voltage of 150 kVA will run along the same route as the proposed 500mm pipeline from the existing Dam 4a to the proposed booster pump station at Dam 5;
- Decommissioning of four dams, i.e. Dams 2, 3, 4b and 6;
- Proposed cultivation of approximately 82 ha of virgin soils, i.e. approximately 33.1 ha on virgin soils not previously cultivated, and approximately 48.9 ha on soils previously cultivated (possibly more than 10 years ago). (Note: Whilst it is evident that the approximately 48.9ha has been previously cultivated, it is unknown if it has been cultivated in the previous 10 years. A precautionary approach has therefore been taken which assumes that it has not been cultivated in the last 10 years);
- A new table grape pack house with a development footprint of approximately 6 ha; and
- An approximately 1 ha sand borrow area.
Note: A Water Use License Application (WULA) was submitted on the electronic water use license application system of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) for the proposed project on 7 April 2020, in terms of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998) (NWA). The following water uses as defined in Section 21 of the NWA were applied for: 21(b) storing of water; 21(c) Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse and 21(i) altering the beds, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse. The Water Use License for the project was issued by DWS on 2 September 2021.
Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants has been appointed by Villion Farms (Pty) Ltd to undertake the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for the proposed project (in this case, a Scoping and Environmental Impact Reporting (S&EIR) process) in accordance with the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (No. 107 of 1998), as amended, EIA Regulations (2014).
The Draft EIA Report (including the draft Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) and Maintenance Management Plan (MMP)), and standalone Executive Summary, have been made available to registered Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) for review for a 30-day comment period (i.e from 22 October 2021 – 22 November 2021), and are downloadable via the links below. I&APs have 30 days, i.e. until 22 November 2021 to submit comments on the proposed project and the aforementioned documents. Comments received from I&APs will be incorporated into a Comments and Response Report (CRR(3)) and will be included in the final Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which will be submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) for decision making.
Should you have any comments, issues or concerns regarding the proposed project or the findings of the Draft EIA Report, please provide your comments in writing to Ms Anja Albertyn of Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants, by email, fax or post (Fax: 086 762 6126, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or post: PO Box 31108, Tokai, 7966), on or before
22 November 2021.
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