OVERVIEW OF THE LESOTHO HIGHLANDS WATER PROJECT

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is one of the largest and most intricate construction projects currently underway in the world. The components included in the project tend to vary from one report to another but in general the total project was originally envisaged to transfer 70 m3/s from the upper portions of the Lesotho Highlands into the Vaal River basin. The scheme was designed in phases, with each phase providing additional transfer capacity to the previous phase with the ultimate transfer of 70 m3/s only being achieved on completion of the final phase.

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Although several configurations have been investigated, the latest generally accepted proposal is for a scheme comprising up to 6 different phases, of which only the first two (phases 1a and 1b) have been approved to date (April 1998).  The most generally accepted components are as follows:

 

Phase 1a

Phase 1b

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Phase 2

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Phase 3

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Phase 4

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Phase 5

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IMPORTANT NOTE :-

It must be stressed that the above mentioned configuration is only one of many possibilities proposed for the LHWP.  The current policy on developments in Lesotho involves only Phase 1 (i.e. Phases 1a and 1b).  No decision regarding further development has yet been made (April 1998).  For further information please refer to LHWP : Statistics.   Alternatively, the DWAF Home Page also has a section on the LHWP which provides the latest information on the project.