THE ORANGE-RIET TRANSFER SCHEME
WATER TRANSFER SCHEMES IN THE MIDDLE ORANGE
The Orange-Riet transfer scheme is an extension of the Vanderkloof Canal system and involves a 112 km long canal which was completed in 1987. The canal supplies water from the main right bank canal at Vanderkloof Dam to the Riet river settlement near Jacobsdal which forms part of the Riet River Government Water Scheme. As a result of protracted droughts, the Kalkfontein Dam, previously the scheme's only source of supply, could no longer meet the needs of the total scheduled irrigation area.
An area of approximately 21 750 ha is now irrigated directly from the Orange-Riet Canal and includes the Riet River settlement, development along the Orange-Riet Canal, Scholtzburg and Ritchie Irrigation Boards and the lower Riet River Irrigation Board. The first 74 km of the canal has a capacity of 16 m3/s while the last 38 km has a capacity of 13 m3/s. Provision has been made for the increasing capacity of the canal to 24 m3/s. The Orange-Riet Canal is situated on a higher level than the right bank main canal near the Vanderkloof Dam. The Scheiding Pumping Station at the terminal of the main canal lifts the water 47 m high to the entrance of the Orange-Riet Canal.