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Le Grand Chasseur dam will bring relief from drought

Habata's Le Grand Chasseur estate recently built one of the largest dams in the Robertson area, which will be used to combat the drought currently afflicting the Western Cape.

Production manager Jan Rabie said they would now be able to store more water during the wet winter months ahead of the dry summer season.

"The dam will hold 700 000 cubic metres of water due to its large size. The second largest dam on the estate can hold 90 000 cubic metres, with the rest of the dams holding between 30 000 and 40 000.

"The new dam is therefore a huge upgrade."

Rabie said the dam would greatly alleviate their drought problems.

"If it rains we can store water, especially for the summer season when it is our most important irrigation time."

Building a dam of this size was not an easy task and many parties were involved.

Rabie and his team had to commission numerous environmental studies which involved engineers, botanists and plant and fresh-water specialists. The whole process took just over two years to complete.

Senior water engineer DJ Hagen was the project engineer, while Cederberg and Winterbach Grondverskuiwing managed the earthworks.

Rabie said they had winter water rights which they had previously not been able to exploit fully.

"That's how we irrigate water to where it's needed now, which we were not able to do previously."

The new dam would be beneficial to the crops on the estate, including table and wine grapes and citrus.

"All our permanent crops use the same amount of water. The grapes use 5 000 cubic metres, while our citrus uses 5 000 to 6 000."

Rabie added that, statistic wise, the dam is 21.5 metres high, 344 metres long and 110 metres wide at the base.

It occupies 12.5 hectares and can hold 700 000 cubic metres of water, or 700 000 000 litres.

Construction took place over three and a half months and a total of about 115 000 cubic metres of earth was moved to build the wall.



Building of one of the largest dams in the Robertson area was recently completed at the Le Grand Chasseur wine estate. This new acquisition will bring great relief from the drought affecting the Western Cape. Photo: Supplied

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