The Northern Cape Water Affairs Department says the completion of a bulk water supply will ensure water security to most parts of the Kalahari.

The R150-million project is also aimed to boost tourism in the area.

The Bloodhound, which is expected to attempt a land speed record of 1 600 kilometres per hour, is expected in the area later in 2018.

Water is a basic necessity for all human beings.

For years, residents at Mier in the Kalahari have been living without this basic need.

They had to rely on borehole water and had to walk miles to get to the boreholes.

The Department of Water Affairs has now completed a bulk water supply in the area to ensure sustainable water for residents, benefiting 11 000 people.

The supply consists of a 150-kilometre pipeline, storage reservoir and a pump station.

The project started in May 2015 and was completed in June 2016.

One of these people who is benefiting is Michael Strauss.

Strauss has been living in Klein Mier for 27-years.

And although the water is a relief for Strauss and others they are still encountering challenges.

“In previous years, we used borehole water. Over there is a borehole we used and on the other side, we used these for years. Now that they have installed the pipelines there is a difference, but there is still interruptions. They did not give us feedback yet. Sometimes we are without water during the day and night.”

Other residents have mixed feelings about the water supply.

“I can open my tap now, and the water is there in my basin, bath, and my toilet can flush. We are not struggling like previous years,” says another resident.

Another resident says, “I think there are still problems, because it does not help we received fresh water. Our people are getting sick. The water is getting mixed.”

“Previously, it was better, because every time we have water, people are getting sick,” says another resident.

The project cost ran into millions.

The Water Affairs Department’s Sputnik Ratau says, “We know that for it to be able to reach where it is, it cost a set amount of R150-million which was financed by the department through the regional bulk infrastructure grant, and it was benefitting almost 11 000 people, in households of about 2421.”

The project has other economic spinoffs such as improved livestock farming, tourism and the Bloodhound project that is set to break a land speed record.