Clanwilliam Dam wall raised to address water shortage

By Drum Digital
30 March 2016

The Department of Water and Sanitation has officially announced that the Clanwilliam Dam wall is being raised to address the shortage of water in what is considered to be the worst drought to hit South Africa in two decades.

By Ayanda Sitole

The Department of Water and Sanitation has officially announced that the Clanwilliam Dam wall is being raised to address the shortage of water in what is considered to be the worst drought to hit South Africa in two decades.

The Dam was first constructed in 1935 and benefits the Cederberg and Matzikama communities in the Western Cape.

In 2015 it was estimated that the dam level was at 88% and would continue to decline.

Speaking to news source Engineering News, Economic Opportunities provincial minister Alan Winde

Said water shortages in the community would affect  agriculture, which is the leading export sector, as well as the economy.

The Department of Water and Sanitation announced that remedial work is underway and the purpose of the remedial work is to ensure the long term safety of the dam, increase the dam storage capacity, increase assurance of supply and improve yield.

“The long term reliable water supply that will be availed will not only increase dam storage but will be critical to also cater for emerging farmers and existing commercial farmers. To date, the water treatment plant, the workshop buildings, as well as potable water reticulation infrastructure are complete,” says Sputnik Ratau, the Department’s spokesperson.

“The flagging of the dam boundary line is complete and to date 66 properties have been expropriated. Of the 66 properties, compensation has been paid for 45, while administrative processes are pending for the rest,” he adds. .

Raising the Clanwilliams dam has already seen direct and indirect employment created for sub- contractors in the fields of drilling, blasting and tunnelling operations as well as manufacturing and installation of mechanical items.

The project is estimated to cost approximatelyR2.2 billion, with the inclusion of N7 and other secondary roads being re-aligned.

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