Southern Africa, much like large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, remains in the grip of a crippling drought. Dam levels are on an all-time low, with little reprieve in sight.

Compounding critically low water levels, water evaporation rates, on all continents, are on the increase as a direct result of climate change.

Driven by sun and wind energy over open water, evaporation accounts for approximately 20% of water lost in stored waters per annum.

Despite the well- known rates of evaporation in stored waters, there is seemingly very little that can be done. Worldwide there are limited technology options available to reduce evaporation of stored (open) waters. Options that are available are mostly implemented in the UAE, Australia and the USA.

In order to cope with water stress, many countries are investing in increased storage capacity, stricter water use regulation, recycling sewage water volumes, and introducing desalination options.

The only commercially viable way to reduce rates of evaporation on stored waters is to cover significant portions of the surface of water storage facilities.

Covering large sections of the surfaces of dams is however not only costly, but hypertrophic conditions, prevalent in many dams, can make it undesirable for the application of surface cover systems.

Enthusiasts of South African water stewardship, recently designed and manufactured a water surface cover system, which is suitable for covering the surfaces of small and medium dams.

There are many considerations when considering water surface cover options to reduce evaporation rates. To name but a few, different dam sizes, spatial and temporal variations, the impact on biota and fisheries/fisherman, recreational use, water quality, water flow through dams, exposure to sunlight, human, animal and aquatic impact, and most importantly, associated cost.

Designed and manufactured in the Southern Cape, Hexagon Water Evaporation Prevention (WEP) systems is an affordable and durable open water surface cover.

Ideal for irrigation farmers, aquatic farm facilities and irrigation farming, Hexagon WEP offers a platform for evaporation reduction.

With a PVC superstructure and a shade net canopy, the system is modular, drifts on the surface, and can withstand strong wind, wave impact and harsh climatic conditions.

Supported through SCLI Water Stewardship, Hexagon Water Evaporation Systems (WEP) are designed and manufactured in Bergplaas (George, South Africa).
www.scli.co.za

Written by Cobus Meiring