South Africa’s Berg River Dam complete

South Africa water authorities have completed major construction works of Berg River Dam, the largest component of the 1.5 billion rand (US$207.4 million) Berg River Water Project near Franschhoek, South Africa.

Impoundment of water, which began in late July, is a key milestone, officials of developer Trans-Caledon Water Authority (TCTA) said. The entire project is expected to be complete by the end of 2007.

The project, including the dam and reservoir, supplemental diversion, two pump stations, and 12 kilometers of pipeline, is to increase Cape Town’s water supply to 523 cubic meters per year.

TCTA said Berg River Dam is the first in South Africa to be designed, constructed, and operated in accordance with the guidelines of the World Commission on Dams. Civil engineering and operational design of the project features were enhanced to ensure the ecological integrity of the river is maintained.

The World Bank recently said it was including Berg River Dam among case studies of good practices for communications guidelines for those involved in hydropower development. (HNN 8/16/07)

TCTA, developer of the giant Lesotho Highlands Water Project that delivers water from Lesotho to South Africa, told local media this week that it will decide by the end of the year whether to proceed with further phases of that project. It said feasibility studies of additional dams and water conveyances are under way.

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