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Gariep Dam
Colesberg district, Northern Cape

COYNE and BELLIER: Engineer



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30°37'24.33" S 25°30'22.89" E Alt: 1246m

Was Hendrik Verwoerd Dam.

This is an arch dam with a height of 88m and a length of 980m. The dam is used for irrigation and industrial purposes as well as being a hydroelectricity plant. It is part of the Orange River Project which was the brainchild of Dr AD Lewis who, as Secretary of Water Affairs, launched the idea in 1928. This is the longest dam in Southern Africa.

Leading from the dam at Oviston is the 82km Orange-Fish Tunnel which carries water to the Fish River valley with the outlet at Teebus near Middelburg.

The first major visit to the dam site by engineers of the Department of Water Affairs and the consultants took place during October 1963 and by April 1964 the first of the nearly 3 500 people eventually employed on the project began to arrive.

The gross storage capacity of the lake created by the dam is 5 960 million cu.m and the area covered is 37 400 Ha.

See also Structurae

Writings about this entry

Olivier, Henry. c1976. Great Dams in Southern Africa. Cape Town, Johannesburg, London, New York: Purnell & Sons. pg 154-165
Olivier, Henry. 1975. Damit. Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa. pg opp 102 ill, 110, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119
South African National Committee on Large Dams . 1994. Large dams and water systems in South Africa. Pretoria: SANCOLD. pg 211