Nelson Mandela University is building a 500-kilolitre reservoir to meet the increased water needs of its campus in George.

The appointment of civil engineers for the project is underway, with construction due to start in January 2019.

“George Campus has grown – and assessments have shown that the demand for water has increased beyond what is being supplied from the existing campus reservoir,” said Nelson Mandela University sustainability engineer Andre Hefer.

George Campus requires a reservoir as it is situated roughly 7km outside of the George city boundary, making it difficult for the town’s infrastructure to service the campus as well.

“Water from the campus’s existing reservoir is solely used for the campus, but due to the current and predicted growth over the next 10 to 20 years, engineering reports indicate that they need additional storage on site.

“This project will ensure there is enough water on site, to be available for usage at any given time for the existing campus operation, while also taking future growth into account. This project has been on the cards for close to 10 years and is finally coming to fruition.”

The new reservoir - which will store clean, potable municipal water - will have sufficient water to ensure a continuous supply for all the campus’s requirements, including water to put out fires, if needed. This is in line with regulatory requirements.

“George Campus will move from having 350kL on site to possibly over 850kL,” said Hefer.

As part of its water-saving initiatives, the university is also investigating opportunities for boreholes on George Campus.