Eastern Cape Drakensberg
DID YOU KNOW?
South Africa currently has 62 free-flowing rivers (long stretch of rivers that haven't been dammed). At an estimated cost of R12.5 billion, the next large dams are being planned in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg area on the uMzimvubu.
The Eastern Cape Drakensberg water source area provides 100% of Umtata's water.
The Eastern Cape Drakensberg loses 3.6% of its water to invasive alien trees. That is vital water that that amounts to billions of litres that could be used for farming and household use downstream. Another problem here is over-grazing in the headwaters that results in erosion of sediment. This sediment could fill up dams downstream.
Free flowing rivers
Supplies water to
Climate change is predicted to exacerbate risks associated with water scarcity and quality. Models show that the western parts of the country will receive less rain, whereas the central and eastern areas will receive more variable rainfall with more intense rainfall events.
Unsustainable land use practices pose a major threat to ecosystems and the livelihood of local communities. It damages flood plains, river banks and wetlands, reducing the regulating capacity of catchments and increasing erosion and sediment loads. This raises the risk of flooding.
Fires are a part of the natural lifecycle of the Fynbos, savannah and grasslands but a higher frequency of fires doesn't allow enough time for natural ecosystems to recover. The impact is exacerbated by the presence of invasive alien trees that burn hotter and longer, causing greater damage to property and the environment. Higher intensity and frequency of fires means that precious soil is eroded and more easily washed away.
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