The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has, in conjunction with the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, successfully shut down the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) water transfer and delivery tunnel and associated systems.
The two-month shutdown – from October 1 to November 30 – is aimed at allowing the two entities to effectively perform inspection and maintenance work that will ensure the conveyance system continues to operate optimally.
Consequently, there will be no transfer of water into the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) over this period.
The last shutdown for maintenance was conducted in 2012.
The panel of experts that will be working on the inspection and maintenance are expected to be on site by the end of this week, or at the latest in the week beginning October 13.
According to the weekly Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) dam levels report, the IVRS is 74.8% full.
This system comprises 14 dams, with catchments in Mpumalanga, the Free State, the Northern Cape and the North West delivering 73% of the capacity of the IVRS.
The LHWP delivers 27% of the IVRS’s capacity.
Some of the major dams within the IVRS include the Vaal, which is at 53%; Sterkfontein, which is at 91.7%; Bloemhof, at 86.9%; and Vygeboom, which is at 92.7%.
The DWS said in a statement on Thursday that it was confident that, with all water users being responsible citizens in terms of water consumption and use, the IVRS would be able to provide sufficient water for all.Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online