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Dam levels rise after good inflows

2021-01-08  Albertina Nakale

Dam levels rise after good inflows

Dams in the southern part of the country received significant inflow due to heavy rains received over most parts of the Orange-Fish River Basin.  
Deputy senior hydrologist in the agriculture ministry Paulina Mufeti yesterday said the flow was observed in most of Namibia’s interior rivers, following relatively heavy rainfall activities over most parts of the country. 

“Widespread heavy rains in the southern parts of the country led to a significant runoff in the Orange-Fish catchment, resulting in rivers flooding, a rise in the reservoirs storage levels and releases, damage to road and agricultural infrastructure,” she said. 
Ephemeral rivers notably the Fish, Lowen and Guruchab rivers came down in flood, resulting in major inflows in most storage reservoirs, such as the Naute, Neckartal and Hardap dams.

As at yesterday morning, the Hardap Dam stood at 60.2%, compared to 7% in the same period last year, while the Neckartal Dam was 42.4% and the Naute Dam at 100%. 

The Orange River flows significantly increased due to the recent heavy rains in the southern parts of Namibia and the Northern Cape in South Africa. Moreover, she said the floodwaters from the Fish River reached the confluence with the Lower Orange River at Sendelingsdrift and passed the 6-meter mark yesterday. The floodwaters have receded, and the river level yesterday was at 1.6m at Sendelingsdrift. “Water users along and further downstream of the Lower Orange River are advised to be on high alert for possible flooding and to take the necessary precautionary measures,” she cautioned. 

Central dams such as Swakoppoort and Von Bach also received significant inflows, with levels now at 70.4% and 73.5%, respectively. 
Last year, during the same period, Swakoppoort stood at 5.3%, while Von Bach was at 39.8%. The Goreangab Dam did not record any significant inflow this year, compared to last year, where it was 100% full during the same period. 

Similarly, the Friedenau Dam also did not receive inflow this time around, compared to last year when it recorded 20.9%.
This year, Otjivero Main Dam stands at 44.3% full, compared to 8.2% water levels recorded in 2020, while Otjivero Silt Dam did not record any inflow this year, while last year it recorded 2.9% full capacity during the same period. 

The Tilda Viljoen Dam stood 23% full in capacity this year, compared to 30.5% last year, while Daan Viljoen Dam recorded 18.4% this year, which is low when compared with 2020’s reading of 65.5% full capacity. 

She said there was no significant rise in the northern border rivers. The Kunene River’s flow has been fairly constant at Epupa and Ruacana, while the flow was also observed in some of the west-flowing ephemeral rivers such as the Kuiseb. 
Mufeti said no flow has been recorded in the Cuvelai basin yet, although isolated pools of water have been observed in the Cuvelai floodplains due to localised rainfall observed in the area.


2021-01-08  Albertina Nakale

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