They are planning to raise this wall by a staggering 15 meters in the near future. I'm sure the farmers are in favor of this but I wonder how much of that water they will see with the Namaqua Sands Mining that must be sucking the place dry all the time! I wouldn't be surprised to see some lucrative kick-backs coming from them into ANC coffers if it goes ahead as well!

From a purely recreational point of view, our concern is 2 fold. Firstly, the dam drops each year during summer to at least 30% and then refills during winter to 100%. (Lake Turnover). This water is always clean and fresh. This will no longer be the case.

Secondly, it is not very deep (currently) and the water is nice and warm. With greater depth comes what is known as  "stratification" which occurs where the deep cold water meets the warm top layer. The cold water below the line is depleted of oxygen - bad for animals & fish. This is why there are always more fish per cubic meter in a small lake and less in a bigger one. Lake Kariba was a sulphuric bog when it was first filled. Normally this layer disappears during the colder winter months (Turnover) and the dam recovers

On the otherhand........There will always be enough water to boat on.

   About the Dam

  When I speak of "Dam" I mean the man made "lake" that is formed behind the dam. - it's a south african thing....don't ask.

IMHO the dam is the life oxygen & blood of Not only Clanwilliam, but every town, farm & community from Citrusdal to Springbok.

It was built between 1932-1935 as an irrigation dam and is pretty much a natural spot for a dam, needing only a small wall (38 Meters high from base) to block the water at one end. It feeds another smaller dam, Bulshoek, further down from which runs the LORWUA irrigation schemes for the farmers.

In 1966 the wall was raised by another 6 meters. First 3 meters concrete and the last 3 meters by crest gates. This provided an extra 30% capacity.

It only holds 123 Million liters of water. Theewaters by comparison holds over 480 million liters, but is boring, far too windy & rough, - not too mention freezing cold, and far less beautiful. What can beat those stunning sunset booze cruises on a warm dead calm night on Clanwilliam dam?


quote from draft EIA


Please fill in Response form for interested and affected parties.
EIA docs and proposals available for download here.

Watch this space - Lynette works for UCT environmental Dep & will keep us uptodate on this issue.    Latest Update.pdf   [220k]

FINALLY IT's OUT. The overdue draft EIA report! Draft.pdf [1meg]

  Rumour has it, if they're going 5m they're going the full  15 meters.  Ouch! Currently busy with identifying and quantifying the costs. I heard somewhere that above mentioned mining company is doing their own EIA - do they want to expand? - not happen without water! Rest assured they'll foot the bill for whatever the state cannot afford! NASA will pay big bucks for those tiles!

Excellent article from WaterWheel - worth a read.  Raise Dam.pdf [ 646k]



Going out for sunset cruise. The wind comes up big time at about 4pm but dies again after about 7pm most evenings in Summer.


Considering the countryside is a bit like the Sahara in drought it never ceases to amaze me how the wild flowers grow each year - You have to be quick before they frek of course, they don't last all that long!

Couldn't imagine why that would be. *grin*

They also have all that bushy tea and this is the only place in the world it grows.


Sunset on the dam (above). A truly majestic experience.


  One of the amazing things about this dam is the visual contrast between what can only be described as a desert, and on the other hand all the abundant water. There is no  greenness around the dams edges. The dryness simply stops where the water begins!

If you are lucky you will be met at the front gate by Pikkie or Gert. Unfortunately the reception looks a bit more like a jail nowadays - an unfortunate sign of the times I guess - and a pointless exercise as no bulletproof glass and it would be a breeze if anyone really wanted to hold the place up so I wish they would take it down. We have always found it a relatively crime-free town.



The lapa is a tricky one as it's not actually part of the campsite. Only the council will know what the story is, but in the past we have asked the mayor and a few other powers that be for permission to use it on Newyears Eve for a party. It was a Mr Slabbert the last I heard but Pikkie will be able to tell you.

It has deteriorated over the last 13 years which is really sad. All the shade cloth has been ripped down, power cables cut and plugs pulled out - all that's left are a few poles and the cement base. Still, it is about the only place for a dance floor.


The approach to the Municipal Campsite (left). It doesn't look like much but once you get through passed the boom  you'll see the difference  - green grass, a waterfall feature on your left and a nice little pond on the right teaming with birds and ducks.





 Home | About the Town | About the Dam | Full & Empty Dam | Photo Gallery

This site was last updated 07/21/08

copywrite Ivor Kruger 2006. All Rights Reserved