Neckartal level at 5.2%

28 February 2020 | Weather

The multibillion-dollar Neckartal Dam has received inflow of about 45 million cubic metres of water since the beginning of this month.

To put this in perspective, this is nearly the amount of water the Von Bach Dam can hold.

According to Neckartal project manager Leopold Niipare, the dam was about 5.2% full yesterday morning. Last week, the level of the dam was at 2.14%.

Niipare told Namibian Sun water has been flowing into the dam since 6 February.

While construction work on the long-delayed N$5.7 billion dam had been completed last year, Niipare said it has not officially been handed over to NamWater.

He said the engineers are still required to prove the dam's durability. According to Niipare, the dam still needs to receive between 25 to 30 million cubic metres to test its durability.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said, when asked whether he believes the dam will still receive this amount of water during the current rainy season.

The Neckartal Dam is located some 40 kilometres north-west of Keetmanshoop in the Fish River and was built by Italian company Salini Impregilo. The dam's purpose is to support a 5 000-hectare irrigation scheme in the area.

The dam, Namibia's biggest, is said to be three times larger than the Hardap Dam near Mariental.

The Neckartal Dam is about 80 metres high with the ability to hold 880 million cubic metres of water, the equivalent of 300 000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Its surface area covers nearly 40 square kilometres.

The project cost of the dam was initially estimated at N$2.8 billion, but ballooned to N$5.7 billion because of several delays.

Meanwhile, the level of the Hardap Dam has since yesterday increased from 26.1% to 27.2%, after receiving inflow of 3.4 million cubic metres of water.

ELLANIE SMIT

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