- Sterkfontein Dam
Sterkfontein Dam Reservoir seen from the R74
Official name Sterkfontein Dam Location Free State Coordinates Opening date 1977 Dam and spillways Height 93 metres (310 ft) Length 3,060 metres (3,350 yd) Impounds Nuwejaarspruit Reservoir Capacity 2,656,000 megalitres (2,656 hm³) Surface area 70 square kilometres (27 sq mi)
The Sterkfontein Dam, located just outside the town of Harrismith, in the Free State, province of South Africa, is part of the Tugela-Vaal Water Project, and located on the Nuwejaarspruit, in the upper catchment area of the Vaal River. The dam receives its water via the Tugela-Vaal Project which is a pumped-storage scheme involving the net transfer of up to 630 million m3 of water from KwaZulu-Natal. This is stored in Sterkfontein Dam and released to Vaal Dam via the Wilge River when needed. The Sterkfontein Dam is a very effective reservoir, since it has the depth to store lots of water, with very little loss to evaporation (the Vaal Dam has a very large lake (reservoir), with lots of evaporation). The Sterkfontein Dam was originally commissioned in 1977 and comprised 69m high earthfill embankment 2 290m long with no spillway. It was subsequently raised in 1980 to its current height of 93m with a crest length of 3 060m and a full supply capacity of 2 656 million m3. At full supply, it has a surface area of less than 70km2. The extended dam was commissioned in 1980, and has a capacity of 2,616,950 cubic metres (92,417,000 cu ft), with a surface area of only 67.260 square kilometres (25.969 sq mi), the dam wall is 93 metres (305 ft) high. The dam wall contains 17 million m3 of material making it the largest dam wall in South Africa with regard to volume, while the reservoir formed by the dam is the third largest in the country.
The Driekloof Dam next to it, is regarded as a separated dam and reservoir, and is not included in the above figures.
(Click to enlarge)
External images The weir separating the Driekloof Dam reservoir from the Sterkfontein Dam reservoir. at Rand Water
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