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Irene grew slowly and steadily during the period between the two world wars. The depression years of 1929-1933 were alleviated to some extent by the construction of the large Rietvlei Dam near Irene on the Eastern boundary of the farm Doornkloof; the dam was built to supply Pretoria with domestic water as the springs and boreholes in Pretoria were insufficient for the growing population. In building the dam a whole hillside of rock nearby was quarried to build the wall and in the course of quarrying deep caves in the rock were opened up and some Bushman pots were found. It was not long before another scheme to add to Pretoria’s water-supply was embarked upon; this was from the springs at Sterkfontein near Olifantsfontein and further deprived the Hennops River of its sources of supply, so that nowadays there is not very much water flowing normally in the river. Irene during these times was supplied with water from the spring on the golf course. Pretoria again needed more water so during the second world war the first pipe to Pretoria of the Rand Water Board bringing water all the way from the Vaal River was laid; this pipe brought water to Lyttelton and enabled it to develop into the large community it now is, and the same pipe supplies Irene with water.

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