As the first bout of heavy summer rains hits the inland regions of KwaZulu-Natal, 2019 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon personnel are confident that the levels of the uMsundusi and uMngeni Rivers will be good when the iconic event takes place from 14 to 16 February.
The 2018 edition of the FNB Dusi saw a break-through in day three conditions where paddlers were able to paddle the section below the Inanda Dam wall at a level of around eight cubic metres per second.
This meant that the event has become less reliant on large amounts of water from Inanda Dam. With that said there is far more water in the dam systems at this stage than there was at the same time 12 months ago.
“Inanda Dam was 48 percent full this time last year, it’s now at 78 percent full which is a huge difference,” General Manager of the Dusi Steve Botha said.
“The dams up-river are almost overflowing and so once that happens then hopefully Inanda will also full up from that.
“If Inanda overflows that would be incredible but I am still confident that we will have some good water on day three.”
Kevin Trodd, the KZN Canoe Union Water Liaison Officer, has created a strong relationship between himself and the team at Umgeni Water. Through this relationship there has grown a much better understanding of the needs of both parties.
“We are still working with the same team at Umgeni Water and through their team of hydrologists and scientists they have worked out that there are many more advantages to releasing larger amounts of water below Inanda Dam wall.
“Our system is working well and the team is happy that what we are doing isn’t jeopardising any water to the greater Durban area so it is a win-win situation,” Trodd explained.
“I am positive that through our relationship with Umgeni Water we will be able to get some help from Nagle Dam meaning that there should be some nice clean water when you hit Confluence.
“I’m not going to stick my neck out just yet about this but I think there is a good chance of this happening.”