Dams_ Free State

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Bloemhof Dam, Free State

The Free State is the “Big dam” province. Eighty-one dams have a total capacity of >1million m3 which is 99% of the total capacity of all the dams in the Free State. The total capacity of the Free State dams is 32% of the total capacity of all the dams in South Africa.

Bloemhof Dam

It was originally known as the Oppermansdrif Dam when under construction during the late 1960s. It is located at the confluence of the Vaal River and the Vet River, on the border between the provinces North West and Free State. (Wikipedia)

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall typeRiver
19701264Gravity EarthfillVaal River

Notes: Domestic and Industrial use. Also supply water to the Vaalharts Scheme. The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve, covering an area of 7 800 hectare, is situated on the northern shores of the 25,000 hectare Bloemhof Dam on the Vaal River near Bloemhof.

Erfenis Dam

The Erfenis dam is the most centrally situated dam in the Free State and is halfway between Bloemfontein and Kroonstad.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
1960212.3Concrete GravityGroot-Vet and Klein-Vet River

Gariep Dam

The Gariep Dam is the largest dam in South Afrrica, almost twice the size than the second largest dam in South Africa (Van der Koof Dam) and more than twice the size of the Vaal Dam.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
19715343Double curvature concrete archOrange River

Knelpoort Dam

A combined gravity and arch dam (the first arch gravity Roller Compacted Concrete dam in the  world) on the Riet Spruit, near Wepener was compled in 1989 to assist in meeting the water demand for Bloemfonteiin, because of the reduced capacity of the Welbedact dam due to siltation.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
1989136.2Combined concrete gravity – arch damRietspruit

Notes: The 50 m high Knellpoort Dam was completed in 1988. It was the first arch gravity Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam in the world and comprises almost 64 600 m3 rollcrete and 14 200 m3 concrete with a gross storage capacity of 137 million m3. In order to prevent similar siltation problems to those experienced at the Welbedacht Dam, the Knellpoort Dam functions as an off-channel storage dam with a relatively small catchment area of only 798 km2 and corresponding MAR of approximately 20 million m3/a . Water from the Caledon River is pumped to Knellpoort Dam from the Tienfontein Pumping Station via a 2 km long canal which is equipped with a silt trap to reduce siltation in the main reservoir. The Knellpoort Dam is currently used to supplement the water in the Welbedacht Dam for abstraction to Bloemfontein via the Caledon Bloemfontein pipeline. As the Bloemfontein demands increase, however, the capacity of the pipeline will become the limiting factor. Water will then be transferred directly from the Knellpoort Dam into the Rustfontein Dam catchment via the Novo Transfer Scheme which is currently in the detailed design stage.

Sterkfontein Dam

Sterkfontein Dam has the second highest dam wall in South Africa and highest earthfill.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall typeRiver
1980 and renovated in 198619.8EarthfillNuwejaar- spruit

Vaal Dam

The construction of the Vaal Dam started during the depression in the early thirties and the dam was completed in 1938 with a wall height of 54.2m and a capacity of 994 million cubic metres.  It was built as a joint venture by Rand Water and the Department of Water Affairs.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
19382610Concrete GravityVaal River

Van Der Kloof Dam

Van der Kloof dam is the second largest dam in South Africa, boasting the highest dam wall in the country at 108m.  The dam was originally named the P,K, le Roux Dam, after a former Minister of the then Department of Water Affairs.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall typeRiver
19773187.5Concrete gravity-arch damOrange River

Notes: The dam is located 130km downstream away of the Vaalhaart dam near the Orange River. It comes second after the Vaalhaartdam because of its storage capacity of 3200millionm. The Van Der Kloof Dam (P. K. Le Roux dam) has the wall of 765m tall in height, which makes it the highest in South Africa. The dam is the one which supplies water to the Riet River catchment as well as to the various users along the remaining 1400km of the Orange River.

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