Details of submission:


Nov 9, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Details of submission:


Berg Water Project

Contributor / Author:



Relevant WCD Strategic Priority(

Gaining Public Acceptance

Comprehensive Options Assessment

Addressing Existing Dams

Sustaining Rivers and Livelihoods

Recognising Entitlements and Sharing Benefits

Ensuring Compliance

Sharing Rivers for Peace, Development and Security


Why this is an example of these Strategic Priority(ies)

Environmental management plans are an important element of sustaining r
ivers and livelihoods.
This example addresses the following aspects:

Mitigation Measures

Environmental Flows

Catchment/Basin Management

Social Issues

Public Involvement

Institutional Arrangements

Monitoring & Auditing


The project is located on the Berg River in Western Cape Province, some 6 km west of
Franschhoek. The Berg Water Project (BWP) is a water supply project. The scheme is designed
to capture water during the winter wet season for release during the dry summer

months. It will
increase the storage capacity of the integrated Western Cape Water System by almost 20% (81
million m3 to a new total of 535 million m3). The dams design will allow environmental releases
of up to 200 m3/s to mimic floods and manage water
quality downstream. EMP was prepared by
consultants appointed by the Trans
Caledon Tunnel Authority and covered the requirements of
the environmental permit, the recommendations from the EIA process, and the Department of
Water Affairs and Forestry's Lette
r of Commitments into one comprehensive implementation
plan. The environmental considerations addressed by EMP were:

Generic environmental specifications.

Social issues, including consideration of social uplift related to local employment
opportunities and

the provision of housing.

Environmental monitoring mechanisms.

A Sustainable Utilization Plan, relating specifically to the identification and management
of post
construction opportunities associated with BWP.

The generic environmental specifications wer
e intended to ensure that, as far as reasonably
practical, the execution of the works would not result in undue or reasonably avoidable impacts
in the environment. The generic environmental specifications included guidance for finalizing
the contract docum
ents, and entailed:

Development of quantifiable standards relating to the achievement of specific
environmental controls and the integration of these standards into the environmental

Ensuring that the various construction phase mitigation m
easures outlined in the
Environmental Impact Report were adequately addressed in the environmental

Ensuring that the environmental specifications addressed the environmental implications
associated with the scheme in its entirety. This incl
uded the Dam, the Supplement
Scheme, the various pipelines, pump stations and powerlines, the rock quarries and
borrow pits, the construction village, the access roads, and the construction phase service

Integration of landscaping guideline
s into the environmental specifications.

Ensuring that the environmental specifications addressed, amongst others, the following
key issues:


management of materials handling, use and storage, including hazardous


provision and regulation of on
site facilities, including ablution facilities, eating
areas and site structures;


prevention of pollution of the site, including the implementation of solid waste
and contaminated water management systems;


provision of appropriate, regular and ongoing envi
ronmental awareness training
for all staff, to familiarize them with the contents and implications of the EMP;


implementation of appropriate measures to curtail impacts on the adjoining social
environment, including the minimization and control of dust and

the regulation of
noise levels;


implementation of reasonable measures to protect natural features, flora, fauna
and heritage resources where necessary and appropriate;


implementation of appropriate erosion and sediment control measures;



to ensure that water quality or quantity, particular with respect to the
environmental flow requirements of the Berg River, is not compromised.


the provision of an Environmental Officer for each construction contract to
monitor implementation of the envir
onmental specifications.

Mitigation Measures

The EIAs for the main dam and for the supplementary abstraction scheme, and the consultation
processes associated with the initial Western Cape Systems Analysis, EIAs, and preparation of
EMP, identified numero
us environmental and social impacts potentially arising from the project.
EMP does list these all in a specific section. Instead, they are described together with the
management response within each of the subject
specific reports making up the overall EMP

report. For example, the EMPs Environmental Design Guidelines were categorized into the
following issues:

Guidelines for Engineering Design

Landscape Guidelines

Alien Vegetation Control Guidelines

Construction Site Layout Planning

Contract Documentation

The EMPs Socio
economic Strategy describes specific responses to impacts grouped under the
following socio
economic impact categories:

Land Use and Agriculture


Tourism / Recreation / Aesthetics

Economic Issues

Occupational and Community

Safety and Security


Archaeological and Cultural Resources

Housing and Community Infrastructure

Water Supply and Quality

Natural Resource Utilisation

Public Participation Process

Environmental Flows

The project is required to release enviro
nmental flows (Instream Flow Requirement).
Environmental flow assessments were conducted in the 1990s and proposed a sequence and
timing of releases which have since been modified in hydrodynamic modeling by the developer.
The issue of appropriate flood re
leases is now under discussion in the light of advances in
environmental flow assessment methodologies, the information available from the three
baseline monitoring programme, and concerns over water quality, especially salinity.

Catchment/Basin Mana

The project has involved three major initiatives in relation to catchment management.

The Environmental Management Committee requested that an Integrated Environmental
Development Framework be prepared to guide holistic planning and management of

development the Berg River system.

EMP includes a major task of preparing a
Sustainable Utilisation Plan (SUP)

for the project. The
SUP process is an integrated planning procedure, addressing both the site planning parameters
and the institutional struct
ure required to effectively manage the water resource, resulting in a
management plan that guides access, use, development and management of the water body and
the surrounding land area. The plan relates to the projects operation phase, and follows on from

recommendation in EIA that a Structure Plan and Zoning Plan of the area on and around the dam
and reservoir should be prepared. This should be done in conjunction with the regional authority
and other interested and affected parties to guide to possible

development of recreation and
tourism initiatives. During project operation, steps should be taken to minimize adverse impacts
on the environment and residents and tourists to Franschhoek. Potential opportunities such as the
development of recreation and
nature conservation should also be maximized. The SUP should
address the following:

Consultation with interested and affected parties regarding recreational and other use for
the dam and surrounding area.

Development of a structure/zoning plan for the area

on and around the dam. This would
be based on the outcome of the public consultation, and would outline the vision for the
sustainable utilization and development of the area.

Compilation of a site development plan based on the vision contained within th
e structure
plan. The site development plan would focus on environmentally sensitive development
of the dam and surrounding area and the provision of infrastructure that would facilitate
the realization of the identified issues.

Rezoning of the area to a z
oning commensurate with the vision contained within the
structure plan.

Identification of sustainable employment opportunities, the development and
implementation of strategies to give effect to these opportunities and to ensure priority of
employment to t
he local community.

Development and implementation of an ongoing strategy of alien/invasive plant
eradication in the catchment and downstream.

Development and implementation of a programme and guidelines to monitor and
maintain all areas rehabilitated foll
owing the construction of the BWP.

The project has partnered with a national programme aimed at removing alien vegetation and
reducing unemployment to undertake vegetation management in the catchment and thereby
increase water yield .

Working for Water is a multi
departmental initiative led by the
Departments of Water Affairs and Forestry, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and
Agriculture, launched in 1995. The programme aims to enhance water security, improve
ecological integrity, re
store the productive potential of land and promote sustainable use of
natural resources. It also invests in the most marginalised sectors of South African society.

In June 2004, TCTA signed a ZAR 21 million contract with the Department of Water Affairs an
Forestry to augment the Assegaaibos Working for Water Programme, an integral part of the
BWP. This area
specific programme is situated on the headwaters of the Berg River, known as
the Assegaaibos. It used to contain a pine plantation before severe damag
e by two brush fires in
1999 ended its commercial viability. Since the fires, alien plants have displaced even more
endemic vegetation. The four year programme will clear the dams catchment of alien trees and
shrubs and provide jobs for an additional 180 p
eople per year.

Social Issues

EIA identified various social concerns largely associated with employment issues and housing
issues related to both the implementation and post
implementation phases, namely:

Land use, ownership and economic impacts to fores
try and farm owners;

Loss of employment for forestry and farm workers;

Employment opportunities for Franschhoek residents during construction;

construction loss of employment opportunities;

construction skills transfer to the local community;

t to local ratepayers for the provision of local infrastructure/services.

In response to these and other issues identified by subsequent consultation processes, the EMP

Economic Strategy

covering public participation; compensation and mi
economic involvement of the community; training, employment and skills transfer;
procurement; housing and infrastructure planning; education; traffic safety; archaeology
and heritage issues; safety and security; and dam safety and emergency prepa
Specific strategies were developed for each of these major topics. For example, the
Caledon Tunnel Authority formulated a strategy to ensure full participation of the
local communities in the BWP. Under the strategy the contractor should sou
rce at least
75% of his workforce from a database of local inhabitants (Franschhoek and Dwars River
valley) through a dedicated labour information office, and 5% from the rest of the
Western Cape. The contractors are also obliged to train local job seekers

to meet the
quota to ensure compliance with the contract. Failure to comply incurs financial

Community Institutional and Economical Enhancement Strategy
. This is based on
ongoing public participation, operation of the Environmental Management

and the identification and promotion of partnering arrangements and development
initiatives that would benefit the people of the project area. The Trans
Caledon Tunnel
Authority intends to appoint a social consultant to implement an extensive s
development programme. This initiative will be linked closely to the skills development
plans of the government and the eradication of poverty.

Public Involvement

The EMP contains a short
Public Participation Strategy
. This focuses on creation

of the
Environmental Management Committee (above), together with preparation of a database of
stakeholders, the development of a full public participation programme before construction, and
the appointment of a Communications Officer by the developer.

eration of the Environmental Management Committee has been problematic due to lack of
executive authority and associated issues of accountability and liability. The committee has no
formal powers of intervention in case of environmental difficulties it can

only report. In April
2004 its name was changed to Environmental Monitoring Committee to reflect this status. In
June 2004 a major stakeholder, the Franschhoek community representatives, withdrew from the
committee in response to the failure of the Trans
Caledon Tunnel Authority to enforce its own
Franschhoek First! employment policy during the contractors initial activities on site.

Institutional Arrangements

The EMPs introductory section includes a detailed description of the institutional framework fo
environmental management (see Figure CS3.1), and establishes clear reporting pathways and

Environmental authorisation for the project was given by the national Department of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The Departments relevant authorit
y responsible for
ensuring that the applicant complies with the conditions in the environmental permit is
the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The applicant to whom the environmental permit (Record of Decision) was i
ssued was
the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and is not transferable. Therefore this
Department retains environmental responsibility for the project.

The Departments agent, the Trans
Caledon Tunnel Authority, has responsibility for
executing the
project in accordance with all required standards and specifications, and of
reporting any issues to the Department.

The City of Cape Town, as the major consumer of water from the scheme, has agreed
with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to prom
ote and implement water
demand management measures and to report on these activities to the BWPs
Environmental Management Committee (now renamed as the Environmental Monitoring

The Environmental Management Committee is a body of stakeholders re
established to actively participate in management and monitoring of the projects social,
economic and environmental impacts, exchange information, review and approve the
EMP and the Environmental Control Officer, and advise the Trans
Authority on non
compliance and other issues.

The Environmental Control Officer was appointed by the developer but reports to the
Environmental Management Committee, and acts as its site control agent executive to
audit and monitor environmental man
agement and compliance by the Engineer and

The Engineer (the design and supervision consultant) appointed an Environmental
Manager to ensure that construction
related environmental management activities were
correctly implemented.

The contracto
r appointed an Environmental Officer to ensure day
day implementation
of the contractual environmental provisions.

With respect to timing, the EMP divides its activities into the phases of pre
detailed design,
design, construction and operation.

oring & Auditing

The BWPs environmental impact reports emphasised the need to design and implement a
monitoring programme to assess the impacts of the project on the Berg River instream, fluvial,
riparian, floodplain and estuary systems. The EMP includes
an environmental monitoring
programme focusing on the river comprised of three components:

Baseline monitoring for at least three years prior to construction.

Monitoring during the construction and filling phases.

Long term monitoring during project opera
tion (for at least 10 years).

The baseline monitoring aimed to develop a conceptual model of past and present ecosystem
functioning of the whole Berg River system, as the basis for determining and managing changes
brought about by operation of the project
. The programme focused on the flow regime and the
physical, chemical and biological characteristics that the instream flow requirement
(environmental flow) is intended to support. Amongst other elements, the programme included
sediment transport monitorin
g and hydraulic and salinity modelling of the Berg River estuary.

Construction monitoring of the river includes an extensive programme of water quality, water
quantity, and macroinvertebrate and habitat surveys, together with water quality sampling at ke
sites such as pipeline river crossings and checks on all effluents.

The monitoring programmes are tabulated in a Summary Monitoring Protocol in the EMPs River
Monitoring Programme report.

In addition to its monitoring programme, the EMP includes an Aud
iting Protocol which focuses
on compliance mechanisms. Audit responsibilities are multi

An external auditor checks the developers compliance with the conditions of the
environmental permit (Record of Decision) annually during construction, and at

The developers Environmental Control Officer checks all parties compliance with the
specifications of the EMP on a quarterly basis, reporting to the developer and the
Environmental Management Committee.

The supervising consultants Environmental Manager checks on the contractors
compliance with the environmental and social provisions included in the construction
contract, on a daily basis, reporting weekly to the Environmental Control Officer and the
onmental Management Committee.

The contractors Environmental Officer promotes and monitors implementation of the
environmental specifications during construction, reporting daily to the supervising
consultant and site agent.

According to the EMPS Auditing

Programme the aims of the Environmental Control Officers
audit, to be undertaken on a quarterly basis, are as follows:

Audit compliance with the prescriptive and procedural terms of the EMP by the
developers, and Engineers and Contractors and any other pa
rty responsible for any aspect
of environmental management associated with the development;

Ensure proper record

Determine the effectiveness of the EMP and environmental specifications;

Ensure that the aims of the EMP and environmental specificati
ons are met;

Aid communication and feedback to the EMC and authorities; and

Recommend changes and updates to the EMP based on audit outcomes to enhance
environmental best management practice.

Main lessons learned:

It is important to prepare a comprehensi
ve EMP through a consultative process.

The EMP in this case established an extended scientific baseline monitoring programme.

The formal linking of a supply
side project with demand
side management.

Compliance with national or international guidelines or p

Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989)

National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998: NEMA)

National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998)

Additional Information

Ramsey, J. 2006. Environmental Management Plans Final Report