BERG RIVER VOELVLEI AUGMENTATION WATER SCHEME(BRVAS)
The proposed scheme involves the abstraction of winter water from the Berg River, once the ecological water requirements of the river and the estuary have been met.
The scheme comprises a weir and abstraction works with a pump station on the Berg River, with a 6.3-km long pipeline to the Voëlvlei Dam
On 18 May 2017, TCTA was directed by the Minister of Water and Sanitation to fund and implement the project as part of the Western Cape Water Supply System. The urgent need for augmenting the system became evident with the system’s inability to cope with the current drought situation. Although the project will not provide relief from the current drought, it will increase the supply from Voëlvlei Dam by 23 million m3 per annum in the medium to long term.
Due to the urgency of the project, a design and build contracting approach was adopted, which should reduce the implementation period by a year, within an acceptable risk framework. This entails:
appointing a PSP to undertake technical evaluation, construction monitoring and administration/contract management;
appointing the contractor to undertake the design and construction. This contracting approach should result in achieving water delivery in June 2021.
An interim Project Charter based on the design and build approach was approved by the Board on 28 October 2017. The tender for the procurement of the PSP was advertised on 1 February 2018 and closed on 6 April 2018. It is planned to award the contract in the 2018/19 financial year.
The Water Reconciliation Strategy for the Western Cape Water Supply System indicates that the system is in deficit and should be augmented by at least 2019/20 to avert a serious shortfall. This need was evident when the water supply system was unable to cope with the drought situation that was experienced in 2018/19. BRVAS was identified as the next surface water development that can contribute to satisfying this requirement.
BRVAS will abstract and pump winter flows from the Berg River to the existing Voëlvlei Dam, improving its yield by 23 million m3 per annum. The project consists of a weir, pump station and a 6.3 km long pipeline to deliver water to the Voëlvlei Dam.
In order to shorten the project implementation period, a Design and Build contracting approach has been adopted. In this approach, the PSP will undertake technical evaluation, construction monitoring and administration/contract management of the project. On 30 November 2018, the Board approved the award of the PSP contract subject to securing funding for the project. Also, the tender documents for the Design-Build Contract have been approved. However, their issuance is subject to review by the PSP, when appointed, and availability of funding to cover the construction costs.
With National Treasury not approving TCTA’s application for the borrowing authority until the Off-take Agreements have been signed with the end-users and DWS not allocating any funds for project preparatory work, this project will regress to an advisory phase next financial year.