Gamtoos Valley’s Kouga Dam is at a low…6.9%
We all need to be waterwise and save as much water as we can. What do you do to save water? Do you shower in a plastic ‘bowl’ and reuse the water to flush your toilet? Do you have a plastic container in your basin to harvest water when you wash your hands, to reuse the water on your potplants? Please be waterwise and save water!
Water from the Kouga Dam in the Gamtoos Valley, is distributed to consumers by means of a system of canals and pipelines. The Kouga Dam and the main canal supply water for both irrigation and urban use; the branch canals are used mainly for irrigation and the Loerie Dam for urban water supply only. Water is supplied to the Port Elizabeth Municipality’s purification works at the Loerie Dam site by means of an outlet control tower and tunnel. The main canal starts at the Kouga dam and ends at the Loerie Balancing Dam. The canal system consists of canals, siphons, balancing dams and pipelines. The total length of the main canal is 97 km (72 km canal, 17 km siphons and 8 km tunnels). The total length of the branch canals is 30 km and the total length of the pipelines is 91 km. In addition to the Loerie Balancing Dam, a further two balancing dams were constructed along the route of the main canal to prevent the wasting of water due to fluctuations of demand. The main canal has a carrying capacity of 8,5 m3/s at the Kouga Dam. The carrying capacity decreases at each of the balancing dams until the ultimate caring capacity at the point of discharge of the canal into the loerie Dam is 3,1 m3/s.
The Loerie Dam with a capacity of 3,4 million m3 consists of an earth-fill embankment with a clay core and a side channel spillway on the left flank of the dam wall. The dam also has a crest spillway which was added in 1983 after the earth embankment had been overtopped on two occasions.
From the Kouga Dam, irrigation water is supplied by means of the canal and pipeline system to more than 7400 ha of scheduled ground. Every irrigator is supplied with at least one draw-off with a self-registering meter, which he himself can operate according to his needs, up to a maximum Limit of 8000 m3 per ha per year.
The Kouga Dam was also built to serve as a flood-control dam for floods originating from the catchment area of the Kouga River and to decrease the effects of these floods in the lower Gamtoos area.
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