The Clanwilliam Dam project is a National Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Water Resource Programme part and was on July 2020 one of Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPSs) gazetted in line with the Infrastructure Development Act. Being part of the Infrastructure Investment Plan approved by Cabinet on May 2020, SIPSs is also a vital part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) aiming to revamp the economy and help in reviving sectors like construction.
Clanwilliam Dam project scope
The Clanwilliam Dam project forms part of the Olifants Doorn River Water Resources scheme with a value cost of around R4billion. The project’s stakeholders consist of implementing department,SANRAL, ESKOM, the Cederberg, DWS and the Lower Olifants River Water User Association, the Western Cape Government, Matzikama and West Coast municipalities.The project will be implemented by the National Department of Water and Sanitation. The dam was first delivered in 1935, with time, the sandstone foundation fractured and there has also been concrete deterioration.. The factors are, compromising the safety of the dam and introduction of anchors on the existing concrete apron and deeper foundations to suitable bedrock are the technical solutions under consideration.
Almost two decades ago, investigators for the dam safety identified the need for remedial work to its existing foundation.. They revealed that the works provided an opportunity to much raise the dam wall to improve dam capacity.
The Clanwilliam Dam project redevelopment included raising the wall by 13 metres and improving the foundation of the dam which are the part of first phase of the Olifants-Doorn River Water Resources Project (ODRWRP).
The scheme is meant to add the dam yield by about 70 Million cubic meters per annum to augment the water supplies to the Olifants River irrigation project located in the north-western part of the Western Cape Province and furthermore assist in the development of resource-poor farmers.
For the success in redeveloping of the Clanwilliam dam, the second phase of the scheme comprise of utilization of the additional yield of water in supplying the ecological water requirements, offering existing water users a more assured supply, using the added water for new irrigation activities by emerging farmers and offering for future growth of industrial and domestic water supply, taking water losses into account.
Timeline of the Clanwilliam Dam project
Clanwilliam Dam with height of 37 metres was developed as a means to get irrigation water to the downstream agricultural region.
Its original height of 37 metres was extended to 43 metres. It had a capacity of 121,800,000 cubic metres, able to offer a significant volume of water to a large portion of residents.
An infrastructure development company was appointed to give the supervision and contracts management of the project to increase the dam level. As of August 2015 the dam was set to be raised by 13 meters, raise more 70 million cubic metres capacity of water.
The project has suffered massive delays due to various challenges. The following briefly highlights these challenges which continue to impact progress of the raising of the dam:
- Procurement of key suppliers and subcontractors
- Another important matter that needs to be addressed urgently is that the construction team has endured loss of skilled staff due to the delays on the project.
The Department of Water and Sanitation revealed the Clanwilliam Dam project being significant to be budgeted and delivered.
The project implementation was at 12% completion which comprise of site establishment including access roads, support infrastructure revamping to the N7, administration of the design, acquisition of land and scheme communication.