20 Feb 2017 17:10pm
MARIENTAL, 20 FEB (NAMPA) - The sluices of the Hardap Dam near Mariental were opened on Monday at around 14h00 after good rains were received in the catchment area over the weekend.
Supervisor at Hardap Dam, Deon Human told Nampa on Monday the water that was being released was flowing at 200 cubic meters per second.
“The dam level was at 68 per cent before we opened the sluices,” he said.
Human further said the situation is being monitored as the water levels were expected to rise to 73 per cent.
He said they would keep the sluices open and release water at 200 cubic meters per second, with inflow standing at 350 cubic meters per second.
“With the expected increase to 73 per cent we might increase the release of water to 400 cubic meters,” Human said.
Mariental Flood Task Force Management Committee Chairperson, Christiaan Nel told Nampa on Monday people should not be concerned about flooding as the situation is under control.
He said the risk of flooding is unlikely because they are keeping the dam level at 70 per cent to avoid flooding.
“We are also making sure people are not in the river when the water flows downstream,” Nel said.
He warned people to stay away from the river.
“We warned people three days ago not to fish in the river to avoid drowning and did so again this morning,” he said.
He also warned that residents should keep their children at home.
In 2006, flooding caused extensive damage to property and businesses at Mariental.
The authorities have since decided to keep the dam level at 70 per cent to avoid flooding.
Besides the heavy rain, another factor contributing to flooding is overgrown reeds in the Fish River. Water released from the dam flows into in a southerly direction into that river.