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Water Infrastructure: Dams and Infrastructure

Storage dams are quite prevalent in the Limpopo River basin as they are necessary to make use of its water resources (LBPTC 2010). The dams within the Limpopo River basin are illustrated in the interactive component to the right providing the location, age of the dam, height, and storage capacity. There are many small dams within each country in the basin under 5 Mm³ with most under 1 Mm³ which have not been listed here as they have a negligible effect on the basin hydrology (LBPTC 2010).

The map below illustrates the percentage of mean annual runoff (MAR) stored within the dams in each sub-catchment in the Limpopo River basin (LBPTC 2010). The catchments of Notwane (Botswana), Marico and Upper Olifants (South Africa), and Msingwani and Mwenezi (Zimbabwe) store greater than 100 % of MAR in dam developments. Conversely, the sub-catchments in Botswana (Lotsane, Bonwapitse, and Mahalapswe), South Africa (Lephalala, Steelpoort, Lower Olifants, Levuvhu, Shingwedzi), all catchments in Mozambique, and Bubye in Zimbabwe store 25 % or less of MAR within dams.

Dam Development (Storage as % of Mean Annual Runoff).
Source: LBPTC 2010
( click to enlarge )

Upper Insiza Dam, Zimbabwe.
Source: Schaefer 2010
( click to enlarge )
Bridge at Maccarretane Barrage, Chokwé, Mozambique.
Source: Qwist-Hoffmann 2010
( click to enlarge )