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Theewaterskloof Dam, Western Cape

There are >1300 dams in the Western Cape with a capacity of >20 000 m3. The total surface area of all the dams in the Western Cape is > 33 000 ha, and will cover a large portion of the City of Cape Town.

Berg River Dam

The Berg River Dam was planned in 1906 as part of the total water scheme for Cape Town.

Note: The first dam to be constructed following the promulgation of the NWA in 1998, the Berg River Dam, was actually more than 100 years in the making.  It was Thomas Bain who first suggested damming the Berg River as far back as 1886.  Then,  shortly after the South African War, the Cape Town municipality investigated several options to further augment its water supply.  One of these investigated was the so called Franschoek Scheme, and it was actually decided to secure options on the farms in the valley in 1902 to enable the Town Council to go ahead with such a project.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
2009130Rockfill with concrete faceBerg river

Clanwilliam Dam

The dam wall was completed in 1935, approximately 38 m high. In 1966 the wall was raised by 6 m (3 m sluice gates).

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
Completed 1935 and raised in 1964121.8Concrete gravity damOlifants River

Greater Brandvlei Dam

It was formed by joining the original Brandvlei Dam (Lake Marais) and the Kwaggaskloof Dam after reconstruction in 1989.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall typeRiver
1983459EarthfillBreede River

Theewaterskloof Dam

The Theewaterskloof dam is linked to Franschhoek’s Berg River dam by an 18 kilometre tunnel through the Franschhoek mountains. In fact both dams get their water from the Franschhoek mountain range except that the Berg River dam gets its water from the run off of the western slopes while Theewaterskloof gets its water from the eastern sides. It’s incredible if you see the size of the dams to think so much water runs off one mountain. The dam has a capacity of 483 million cubic metres of water when full.

What is interesting with regards to the tunnel system through the mountain is that water can be transported both ways through it. The reason for this is that when there is excess water in the Berg River dam it can be pumped into the Theewaterskloof dam which has a bigger storage capacity than the Berg River Dam.


Theewaterskloof Dam

Theewaterkloof Dam drought during 2017

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
1980480EarthfillDischarges into Riviersonderend River

Voëlvlei Dam

About 6km south of Gouda is Voelvlei (“bird-marsh”) Dam, an important element in the complex water supply system of the Western Cape.  What was originally little more than a muddy marsh was converted into a dam in 1952 to augment and control the water delivered by the Berg river to places such as Saldanha and Vredenburg near its mouth on the west coast. 

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
1971168EarthfillMountain streams, Klein Berg River, Vier-en-Twintig Rivier

Wemmershoek Dam

Water at  the Wemmershoek dam is of the highest quality since there is no upstream agricultural pollution or human activity.

ConstructedCapacity (mil.cub.m)Wall TypeRiver
195758.6EarthfillWemmershoek River

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