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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:46 am 
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A series of photos provided my our great friend and very honourable hospitality manager from Olifants, Hein Grobler.

Thanks Hein.

Olifants river before(Nov 7th)

Image
Image

and after...(Nov 8th)
Image
Image
Image

A miracle from Above!! Thank You so much.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:50 am 
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Thanks to your friend Hein, and thanks to you WTM for posting these pix. Amazing how quickly the river rises again! I'm looking forward to having that view for a few days next April/May and will hope that the river is still flowingthen!

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:01 am 
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What a wonderful, wonderful sight!!! Thank you for getting those and posting them WTM!!! What a Blessing!


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:15 am 
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Amazing site.

I was at Olifants on Friday and it was as dry as a bone.

I am back there on Satruday coming up. I can't wait to see the difference.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:54 am 
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Magical Nature! :dance:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:02 pm 
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It is always so amazing to see how quickly rivers that were bone dry one day can start flowing again so fast.

In fact there are many stories of people having been caught out while crossing dry river beds and suddenly faced by a torrent of water that can be deadly.
A big storm far up in the catchment area is all that is needed.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:39 pm 
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Wild@Heart wrote:
I think this had a large part to play for the olifants running again..

chrisb on 07/11/2005 wrote:
I have heard from a lady who's husband is working at the barrage that they have opened the sluices last night to release water for KNP and there is water on its way from the upper Olifants.

I must admit I wondered about that because there was a notice in the Olifants camp when I was there that they were waiting for water to be released from the Blyde Dam to help relieve the situation.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:51 pm 
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From Hein Grobler at Olifants...

Quote:
Since 23 August 2005 the Olifants River came to a complete standstill.
Despite the numerous efforts to release water from the Blyde Dam, the water never reached Olifants Camp. This resulted in no water irrigation for longer than two months.
Over the last weekend we received wonderful rain and the catchments area of the Olifants River has shown this.
Yesterday the first few pictures (7 Nov 2005) was taken of the dry-not-flowing Olifants Rive, and then this morning (8 Nov 2005) was a rumble of brown water flowing past the camp.

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 Post subject: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:40 pm 
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It was reported some years ago that the permanent rivers in Kruger are deteriorating to such an extent that some of them, such as the Letaba and Levhuvu, have stopped flowing in winter. This led to various research projects which have been undertaken to establish how this problem has affected the river systems throughout Kruger.

One of the researchers has proved that the diversity of the fish species in the rivers which stopped flowing, dwindled so seriously that eight species identified in 1964 are no longer found in the rivers. Another researcher discovered that common reeds are taking over the sandbanks of the rivers in question, which will seriously hamper the natural flow of the water.

Any updates or fresh news about this?

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 Post subject: Re: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:36 pm 
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On our trip this Feb, I must say that the Letaba river did look very low for Summer and I can't imagine too much water flowing at all in Winter but in contrast the Luvuvhu river was the fullest I think I have seen it in many years, as was the Shingwedzi.

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 Post subject: Re: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:59 pm 
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:hmz: Lets have a look whether we can get a KNP scientist to respond ....

Give me some time. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:11 pm 
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I have only seen the Letaba river very low. Summer and wintertime.

Don't be so impatient G@mespotter. :naughty: :naughty:


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 Post subject: Re: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:45 am 
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What we should not forget is that the 2009-2010 rain season has been very good in the catchment areas of most of the KRUGER perrenial rivers well above average - this is all part of nature's cycle of feast and famine.

The KRUGER perrenial rivers : Limpopo, Levhuvu, Letaba, Olifants, Sabie and Crocodile.

The perrenial rivers are generally placid-flowing streams during the dry season (April - October), except for the rapid or narrow and the water is normally clear, except for the Levhuvu River which which is always turbid, even in mid winter. During the rainy season (November - March) when the rivers are in full spate they in character are much more muddy and turbulent.

The effect of pollution can clearly be seen for instance when the Olifants - (the most polluted river in the PARK) is flowing slowly in the drier periods, unnatural alge (the result of pollution) can be seen when crossing the bridges.

Change in pH caused by industrial pollution will most definitely affect the fish populations. Natural earth water is more alkaline (high pH) when the industrial pollution takes place acids (mainly sulphuric acid) enter the system and lower the pH.

Dam walls of course also intefere with the natural flow of the rivers and streams slowing them down only letting the "excess" pass through the system.

The reduction in the flow of the rivers cause the settling of the pollutants in the riverbed, increasing the concentration and causing bioacumulation in its inhabitants - the fauna and flora in the system.

Unnatural enrichment e.g. sewage causes alge and other vegetative growth, clogging the flow of both the seasonal end perrenial rivers. In the past the natural distrubution of Hippo assisted with the clearing of vegetation from the water courses.

Dam walls without fish ladders negatively affect the natural migratory process of the fish population causing them not to breed where they naturally should e.g. Tiger Fish and Eels.

Now the latest threat to certain species is global warming, certain species survive only in the cooler waters.

The increasing threat to indigenous animal and plant species in South Africa posed by development pressure, by changing vegetation, by habitat destruction, by the invasion of alien species and by commercial exploitation is an environmental problem of immense magnitude.

Manay creatures have been extinct in the doomed landscape of other countries, with the current situation in South Africa - all talk and no do - we are rapidly catching up with them.

A typical example of how rapidly we are destroying our nature is the coal mine and the planned power station at the confluence of the Shashe and Great Limpopo Rivers - our heritage a place we call Mapungubwe.

Everything possible must be done to save our primitive earth for the benefit of future generations.

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 Post subject: Re: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:15 am 
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A bit about our Freshwater Fish Species.

We have 102 species and sub-species indigenous freshwater fish species in South Africa, of which 48 occur in varying numbers in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

A further 14 species occur in the other National Parks of our country.

28 Species of freshwater fish were already listed by Skelton in 1977 as being threatened in his Red data book.

Many species e.g. smal minnows of the Barbus species are of a very localized distribution and only inhabit favourable portions of streams and rivers making them extremely vulnerable to introduced pecies of alien predating species.

Many of these little minnows play a very active role in controlling mosquito larvae - reducing the Malaria threat and also the Bilharzia-vecting snails of our waters.

Untill such time as the general appreciation of the basic necessity of wild things and landscapes for the well being of man is fostered by all; as opposed to the short term material gain in the face of civilization pressures and progress, destruction will continue and finding reasons to do so will also continue leaving behind a much poorer everything.

All alien species (animal and vegetative) and pollutant agents should be actively prevented from entering these habitats and adequate measures should be taken through legislative measures including the enforcement thereof to prevent the destruction of these habitats.

Active liaison between the respective conservation agencies and the Department of Water Affairs should take place ensuring that destruction of our rivers does not take place.

Members of the public should also get involved in preventing this destruction.

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 Post subject: Re: Cry, our precious rivers.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:02 pm 
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I received the following information from Dr. Andrew Deacon, Project Manager: Small Vertebrates Savanna Unit, KNP.

Quote:
Crocodile River: A very diverse river – biggest problem: alien invasive weeds. Regulated by the Kwena Dam, over-utilized by irrigation and extraction for towns. Results in low flows during winter and sometimes no flows near Komati Poort. Since the last irrigators and Mozambique require water, Department of Water Affairs strive to get water to the end of the river, which benefits the park. Return flows from irrigation and pollution due to sewage effluent renders river eutrophic, thus the large amount of green algae covering sensitive habitats. No fish species lost yet.

Sabie River: Short river from Drakensberg to Mozambique; many dams in catchment (tributaries); very diverse, cold finger running through Park. Water relatively clean, never stopped flowing. Corumana Dam will be heightened, might result in similar problem as Massingir cause in Olifants. Fish reasonably secure.

Olifants River: Water quality problems – mining in catchment. Coal in highveld, heavy metals in Steelpoort and Phalaborwa areas. Erosion in catchment (especially Sekhukuneland) results in major sedimentation in river, covering large stretches of original habitat. Over-extraction of water in in catchments, periodical no-flows in river during winter. Raising of Massingir Dam results in crocodile and fish mortality due to stagnant system. At least 2 fish species absent from river due to state of the river.

Letaba River: Main problem is dams in catchment and over extraction due to irrigation. During low flows just a trickle or no flow. Increase problems with water quality as irrigation return flows increase fertilizer levels in water – resulting in eutrophication. Non flows reduce habitat availability. One fish may be lost to the river.

Shingwedzi: Seasonal river – not too impacted from outside.

Luvuvhu River: Erosion and sedimentation, and low flows due to extraction for irrigation seems to be the main cause for concern. Stopped flows during droughts. No fish lost yet.

I hope this straw dog helps – please feel welcome to ask questions on the frame provided.

Regards,
Dr Andrew Deacon (SANParks)
Project Manager: Small Vertebrates Savanna Unit, KNP


Thank you! :thumbs_up:

A definition taken from Wikipedia: A eutrophic body of water, commonly a lake or pond has high primary productivity due to excessive nutrients and is subject to algal blooms resulting in poor water quality. The bottom waters of such bodies are commonly deficient in oxygen, ranging from hypoxic to anoxic.

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