About Gamtoos Water

Gamtoos Water is a licensed water users’ association based in the town of Patensie, nestled in the Gamtoos River Valley in the Eastern Cape.

Hankey, Patensie, Loerie and Thornhill are the key towns in this region, where our agricultural water users produce everything from citrus, vegetables and dairy to herbs, avocados, chicory, strawberries and blueberries.

The area falls under the Kouga Local Municipality, which covers an area of 2 670 square kilometres and is home to a population of 98 580 (Census 2011).

Gamtoos Water (formerly known as Gamtoos Irrigation Board) has gained a reputation for managing large-scale, labour-intensive infrastructure and environmental projects around the province. Gamtoos Water’s expertise has been widely recognised and it has won numerous awards, contributing towards social upliftment and conservation.

Gamtoos water scheme

Established in 1991 under the previous Water Act of 1956, Gamtoos Water’s primary objective is to manage and distribute raw water from Kouga Dam to agricultural water users in the Gamtoos Valley and urban users in the Nelson Mandela Bay and Kouga municipalities.

The organisation operates and maintains the Gamtoos water scheme, which includes the dam and associated canal system, pipelines, balancing dams, office buildings, stores, workshops and houses.

In 2023, Gamtoos Water changed from Gamtoos Irrigation Board to become a Water User Association, in line with the requirements of the National Water Act of 1998.

Natural resource management

Water security is integral to our business; therefore we also oversee multiple water conservation and demand management initiatives.

Gamtoos Water is also exploring private partnerships in funding projects which have the restoration of ecosystems at heart by clearing alien invasive species and ensuring the integrity of land and biodiversity.

Social investment

As part of a close-knit rural community that encompasses Hankey, Patensie and Loerie, social investment is an on-going priority. Gamtoos Water provides assistance with maintenance and other forms of support to various schools, NGOs, emerging farmers and the local municipality.