Pietermaritzburg – Organisers of the Dusi Canoe Marathon are confident the 2016 edition of the iconic Pietermaritzburg to Durban paddling race will be staged on manageable river levels despite KwaZulu-Natal, and much of the rest of South Africa, continuing to be plagued by the current drought.
While the management of the precious commodity continues to remain top priority for the Department of Water Affairs and Umgeni Water alike and with heavy rainfall unlikely to occur any time in the near future, participants of the Dusi are likely to still enjoy an adequate water level for the three day event from 18-20 February.
“We are doing everything we possibly can to ensure there is enough water in the rivers for the 2016 Dusi while also bearing in mind the desperate need to conserve water as best we possibly can during this difficult time for all,” confirmed Dusi Canoe Marathon General Manager, Brett Austen Smith.
“As always, we will make the relevant official requests for a full release from Henley Dam – which is not a water supply dam – while we will also try to assist Umgeni Water however we can to ensure a release from Nagle Dam.”
While the Henley and Nagle Dam releases assist paddlers during the opening two stages, the third and final stretch from Msinsi Resort to Blue Lagoon is solely influenced by flow out of Inanda Dam.
With enough rainfall set to fall between December and February to fill Inanda Dam and see it spill for the first time in months unlikely, organisers are working closely with relevant authorities to secure a coordinated water release.
“Umgeni Water is required to perform an environmental flush annually and we have been fortunate in the past that they have been willing to ensure this coincides with the staging of the Dusi,” said Austen Smith.
“We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Umgeni Water on this in years gone by and are hopeful that this can continue in 2016 once more.”
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg to Blue
Lagoon, Durban from 18-20 February 2016. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za.