The Letsibogo Dam is a river dam on the Motloutse River in the Republic of
Botswana, initially built to provide water to Selebi-Phikwe, the industrial town
of central Botswana and surrounding areas, with potential using in irrigation.
At present Letsibogo Dam supplies Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, via a 400
kilometres (250 miles) pipeline, as well as major villages along the pipeline
Location and climate
The dam is located near the village of Mmadinare, central Botswana. The climate is tropical and semi-arid, with 90% of rainfall occuring during the period from November to March, rainy season. Mean annual precipitation is about 450 millimetres (18 inches) in the catchment area above the dam. It is very variable, with rainfall less than 40% of the average expected in one year in seven. In August 2012 the dam was only one third full, prompting concerns that there could soon be water shortages in the areas of the areas of Palapye, Mahalapye and Gaborone. Some blamed the problem in part to slow repair of leaking pipelines.
Structure and operations
The dam was designed for the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources by Arup, who also supervised construction of the water storage embankment and central clay-core dam. It has storage capacity of 100,000,000 cubic metres (3.5×109 cu ft). It is operated by the Water Utilities Corporation. The dam is part of the North-South Carrier Water Project, which includes other dams, water transmission systems and water treatment works, bringing water from the northeast of Botswana to the southeast. It is linked to Gaborone by a 400 kilometres (250 mi) pipeline. The initial North South Carrier Scheme's costs were around US$350 million, and it came into operation in 2000.
Although primarily designed for water storage, the dam is being promoted for tourists as a place for water sports and fishing. In 2011 the government announced plans to upgrade the infrastructure round the dam, include roads, sewage and drinking water, and to create the first artificial beach in Botswana on the northern part of Letsibogo dam. The local government was planning to build a 5-star eco-lodge and a game reserve.
Purpose: urban and rural water supply
Coordinates 21.844819°S 27.734608°E
Dam and spillways
Height 28 metres (92 ft)
Capacity: 100,000,000 cubic metres (3.5×109 cubic feet)
Surface area: 18 square kilometres (6.9 square miles)
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