What is the Barrage in the Vaal River?

Apr 5th, 2013 by Annalien in FAQs, Vaal river info

Vaal River Barrage

The Barrage is a series of steel gates installed between concrete piers right across the Vaal River, about 35 km downstream from Vanderbijlpark, in Gauteng.

There are 35 concrete piers supporting 36 steel gates (sluices) – each ten metres by eight metres – built in Scotland and installed by Rand Water in 1923. The reservoir created by this set of gates across the Vaal River, is used as surface water storage for the purpose of providing water to the Witwatersrand.

Johannesburg is one of the few large cities in the world that is not built on a river. Initially, way back when, Rand Water pumped groundwater from the Zuurbekom Wells on the West Rand as drinking water for Johannesburg. This water was of such good quality then that it didn’t require any cleaning!

South Africa is a semi arid country with very scarce water resources and the Vaal River is the largest body of water in Gauteng.

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