Full dams a danger for the Northern Cape

Agri Norhtern Cape expressed its concern about the high water levels of the Vaal, Gariep and Van der Kloof dams following above-normal rainfall in the catchment area since the beginning of March.

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The union said if the water systems were not managed carefully, a situation could develop where parts of the province could run the risk of floods.

According to information from the department of water affairs on 11 March, 1 450m³ of water/second flowed into the Vaal Dam, while the outflow was 940m³.

According to Johan van Rensburg, Agri Northern Cape general manager, the Bloemhof Dam was 81% full and would be 100% full within the next couple of days. The inflow into this dam stood at 700m³, 400m³ was being released.

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Van Rensburg said the lower Vaal area around Douglas could only handle 800m³ beore the rivier burst its banks.

The Gariep Dam was 93% full on 11 March and the Van der Kloof Dam was 100% full. Outflow was 200m³ each.

Representatives of Agri Northern Cape suggested the outflow of the Bloemhof Dam be increased to 700m³ and the outflow of the Van der Kloof be increased to at least 600m³.

Van Rensburg said it was important that inflow projections be used to determine the optimal outflow to prevent possible flooding.