The Garden Route Dam spillway is finally being raised. It has been announced that DWAF will be granting the licence required in September. Photo: Ilse Schoonraad
GEORGE NEWS - At a meeting of the George Water Forum on Tuesday, Henry Jansen, Senior Manager Water and Sanitation Services at the George Municipality, announced that the Department of Water Affairs will give permission at the end of September for the raising of the Garden Route Dam spillway.
The extraction of water from the Malgas River Pump Station to supplement the town's water reserves was also included in the Outeniqua Coast Water Situation study that will serve as the basis of the new Water Extraction Licence.
The long awaited authorisation has caused local outrage and officials were often unfairly blamed for the delay. The on-going campaign promoted by various role-players to raise the level of the spillway (commonly referred to as the dam wall) was given new impetus in 2010 by the severe drought that hit the Southern Cape.
A question in the National Assembly by DA MP, Maruis Swart in which he asked the Minister of Water and Environment Affairs, Edna Molewa what progress her department has made with the issuing of water licences to the George Municipality; has resulted in the Minister issuing a statement that outlines and clarifies the situation.
Harold Basson, the Director Technical Services said that it is estimated that the 3m increase in the height of the wall will increase the capacity of the dam by 8% with the Malgas project adding an additional 6%. The project will be financed by the Department of Water Affairs via DORA funding (Division of Revenue Act). Currently there is no clarity on the estimated cost or whether the funding will be available in one financial year or spread across a number of years.
Jansen confirmed that last week the Malgas Pump Station ran a trial to assess the effect on downstream users with satisfactory results. He further added that although the construction would not be a major issue, it will be a complex undertaking.
* Die Tuinroetedam se oorloop gaan uiteindelik verhoog word. Na jare se gesukkel het die departement van waterwese ingestem om 'n lisensie vir die verhoging van die oorloop in September aan die munisipaliteit uit te reik. Dit volg glo na DA LP, Marius Swart die minister van waterwese, Edna Molewa in die parlement oor die kwessie gevra het.