Limpopo Briefing Note - Sustainable Water Supply: Maintaining Environmental Flows
Storage dams in the Limpopo river system are helping the country provide reliable supplies of clean water to its people in both rural and urban settings. The water provided improves population health and enables industry. Dam managers are expected to periodically release water downstream to maintain a balance between water storage and the river’s ecological health. Without this mimicking of the river’s natural flow patterns, the ecology around the river bed changes, specifically in the downstream. Effects of climate change on flow regimes will change the magnitude, frequency, duration, and variability of the different components of a river flow regime. Streamflow modifications will affect water availability, determine ecosystem fragmentation, wetland infilling and drainage, and increase sediment transport.
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