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6. BLOEMHOF

6. BLOEMHOF

Provinces: North West & Free State
Capacity: 1, 240, 200 megalitres

Fed by the Vaal River, the Bloemhof Dam is one of the largest in South Africa, covering an area of some 25 000 ha and reaching over 100 km upstream from the dam wall. The dam is fed by the Vaal River.It was originally known as the Oppermansdrif Dam when under construction during the late 1960s. It is located at the confluence of the Vaal River and the Vet River, on the border between the North West, and the Free State.
The dam wall is very long with a total length of 4 270 m. The reservoir is very shallow, and therefore needs a large area to mean anything for water storage. The area around the reservoir (dam), has been a protected area, but because it lies on the border between provinces, these became two separate nature reserves. On the North West Province side lies the Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve, on the Free State side is the Sandveld Nature Reserve. Bloemhof Dam was constructed to impound runoff originating below the Vaal Dam to meet the needs of users in the Lower Vaal River area. The dam supplies water to various industrial and municipal users although most of the water released from the dam is used for riparian irrigation along the Vaal River totaling 17 000ha.

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