Lesotho Water Project

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  • Created on: 29-09-12 20:49
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Lesotho is a
landlocked country in South Africa. It is also
the highest country in the world. Its
population is estimated around 2,067,000. Lesotho is listed as an LEDC.
Due to the geographical landscape of the country, a lot of rain falls each
year. It is a water surplus country with a sparse population. In 1998, a
dam was built as part of a water project to change the country's income
and help the neighbouring country, South Africa.
South Africa, the country that Lesotho is in the middle of, is a densely
populated country with little water. Much of the country is in a rain
shadow. The country has a water deficit. The country needs more water
for its people to survive as it has little fresh water of its own. Only 83% of
South Africa's population have access to safe water. It was decided
between the two governments of South Africa and Lesotho that a water
project would be put in place in which stored water from the highlands of
Lesotho and would be piped into South Africa for the people of South
Africa to use.
In 1998 the first dam was built. This dam was called the Katse Dam. The
water was stored in a lake it would go through the dam and then be piped
to South Africa to the Val River, which leads to important cities like
Johannesburg where many people lived.
A second dam was built in 2002 called the Mohale Dam, which
interconnected with the first dam, this means water could be transferred to
the Mohale Dam to be stored or ultimately transferred to South Africa.
Because of its geographical landscape, Lesotho receives a lot of relief
rainfall. Water naturally tends to collect higher up in the atmosphere
because of Lesotho's mountainous regions and causes it to condense,
causing precipitation in this area. As the winds move on from Lesotho into
South Africa they fall back down in height and don't condense anymore.
This means South Africa is in a rain shadow and doesn't receive enough
rain, meaning it has a water deficit. Lesotho receives more rain than it
needs so it has a water surplus.

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Where the two dams where built there was a lot of farmland and many
people used that land for agricultural use. When the dam was built these
people had to move and find new land, they were compensated though
they say it wasn't enough. Only 9% of Lesotho is arable so this could
cause problems in the future for agriculture and could lead to food
shortages.…read more


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