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Namibian              Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Avis Dam sluice gate stuck - by Tanja Bause

ONE of the Avis Dam sluice gates was opened again yesterday because debris had prevented it from closing after it was opened on Sunday morning.

Water had been flowing out of the dam throughout the night. 

It is estimated that one centimeter of water is lost every day due to evaporation. 

On Sunday when the sluice gates were opened, about 25 cm of water was let out while further 10 cm of water was lost overnight because of the malfunctioning sluice gate. 

Yesterday, when the sluice gate was opened in an effort to clear the debris, an estimated further 35 cm of water was lost. 

The water that was let out of the Avis Dam on Sunday was the equivalent of six weeks of natural evaporation. 

Christoph Hillebrand of Greenspace says although the association understands that the sluices had to be tested, the water loss was regrettable. 

The City of Windhoek tested the sluice gates to make sure that they are in working condition, as the dam is nearly full and the sluices might have to be opened for real to prevent the wall from breaking. 

The sluice gate is still not closed completely, but much less water is leaking out than on Sunday. 

The municipality is monitoring the situation and will decide on a further course of action later. 

It might be necessary to send a diver town to clear the blockage from the inside. 

Traffic officers were posted along the course of the Klein Windhoek River to ensure that motorists would not try and cross the river while the sluice gate was opened. 

The Klein Windhoek River eventually runs into the Swakoppoort Dam.


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