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Sub Project 2: Dam Engineering & Socio Ecological Systems

The aim of this project is to generate and test tools that will enable the alleviation of dam siltation through optimized catchment management as well as dam engineering methodologies (e.g. integrating both ecological and built infrastructure) and innovations. It will have the following outputs:

1. A storage classification framework for South African dams that can be used as a decision-support tool that must include:

a. A typology for classifying dams from sustainable to exhaustive storage

b. Management guidelines for each of the different categories, including recommendations for Resource Management Plans currently being developed by DWS at some of the Government Water Schemes

c. Application of the framework to classify the 320 dams in the DWS portfolio

2. A dam basin operations model for:

a. Guiding the transformation of current approaches to the management of siltation in dams to more sustainable, integrated and cost-effective approaches, including guidance on the:

i. design of new dams;

ii. operation of existing dams (onsite engineering and other actions focused on the dam);

iii. catchment-focused actions to reduce sediment mobilization into dams; and

iv. integration of onsite dam-focused (grey infrastructure) and upstream catchment-focusedĀ (green/ecological infrastructure) approaches

b. Incorporating information generated through sub-project 1 on identification of siltation-prone areas

c. Incorporating information from sub-project 3 (dredging) where appropriate

d. Developing/refining financial and economic models used in design, costing and decision-making for dam infrastructure projects, as well as mechanisms to enable cost recovery of onsite and catchment- based actions to address dam siltation, through infrastructure related tariffs, raw water tariffs and other mechanisms

e. Identifying the required coordination across relevant institutions(e.g. DWS, CMAs, provincial and local government, communities) and legal frameworks (e.g. land use planning, design and use (e.g. human settlement zoning and agricultural practices)) to implement integrated approaches to siltation management

3. An adopted approach that incorporates the existing body of research and implemented projects and that works closely with DWS and other stakeholders in the R&D process, while collaborating and participating in Catchment Management Agency-based projects on siltation management that could add value to the outcome of this project.