Solar Powered Water Security: An Enabler for Rural Development in Limpopo South Africa

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes how the rural development of a small village was enabled through the improvement of water security. The rural village of Gwakwani in the Northern Limpopo province of South Africa was entirely dependent on a diesel powered borehole pump for their water supply. The cost and unreliability of the diesel supply resulted in limited opportunity for the development and growth of the village. As a rural community development enabler, a solar-powered borehole pump was installed in the village, which enhanced the availability and reliability of the water supply to the community. A second solar-powered borehole pump was installed, which allowed the establishment of small-scale drip irrigation farming enhancing economic activity. This paper presents the feasibility for the installation of solar-powered water pumps in rural areas, showing its advantage over diesel-powered water pumps. It is shown how the availability of a reliable water supply increased the production of subsistence crops. This paper concludes with a justification for installing high-tech solar pumping systems as a catalyst for developing rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20694-20703
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018


  • Drip irrigation
  • rural development
  • solar water pump
  • water security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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