Agriculture Ministry issues warning of possible flooding in areas in the lower Orange River basin
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) on Tuesday issued a warning to the public, especially those on the lower Orange River, of possible high river flows and flooding which might cause prolonged inundation in the coming days.
The ministry citred the high rainfall in the headwaters of the Vaal and Orange-Senqu River catchments in South Africa and Lesotho. As a result, this triggered major overflows and releases had to be made from Bloemhof, Gariep, and Vanderkloof dams over the past two weeks.
The high water moved down the Lower Orange River, peaking from 2m to 6.26 m with a flow rate of 3100 m3/s at Upington on Saturday, 19 November, a statement from the ministry said.
“The major upstream dams remain above 100%. It is expected that the flows in the Lower Orange River will remain high in the coming weeks with more water on its way, as a result of further releases from the upstream dams,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, communities, water users, irrigation areas (Noordoewer, and the settlement in Aussenker), mines, road users and people in the lowest part of the Orange River Oranjemund estuary, are advised to be on high alert for possible flooding.
The ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation on the ground and keep the public informed.