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About us

The overarching goal of the National Dam Siltation Management (NatSilt) Programme is to develop a national strategy supported by a myriad of tools for managing siltation effectively in the more than 300 large dams that the Department of Water and Sanitation owns in South Africa

The programme began in 2020 and is being implemented in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Development of a draft Siltation Management Strategy and related tools and models
  • Phase 2: Piloting of the draft strategy, tools and models
  • Phase 3: Review and finalization of the strategy, tools and models.

Phase 1 has been completed, and Phase 2 got underway in April 2022. The strategy, tools and models that were
developed in Phase 1, are being piloted at the Welbedacht Dam in the Free State, the Hazelmere Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, and the Darlington Dam in Eastern Cape.

The NatSilt Programmes main objective is to improve water security in a sustainable manner by addressing the loss in storage capacity of the large dams in the country due to siltation through engineering and ecological methodologies. The programme aims to develop capacity building in order to create institutional capacity in the country.

Primary objectives

  • Develop a national siltation management strategy for large dams
  • Develop site-specific knowledge and siltation management interventions
  • Develop decision support tools and models
  • Develop training and capacity development

Envisaged outcomes/impact

  • Longer life of water supply infrastructure
  • Delayed implementation of new infrastructure
  • Holistic and systematic approach to Siltation Management
  • Identification of new sources of funding for catchment interventions
  • Community development in the form of catchment improvements
  • Citizen science initiatives
  • Skilled Community of Practice
  • Improved knowledge of siltation cause and effects
  • Informed effective decision making for siltation management
  • Local economic development opportunities