Governments in Lesotho and South Africa have been working on a 30-year project, the Lesotho Highlands Water Transfer Project (LHWP), that is unfolding in a series of stages. The purpose is to transfer about 70 m³ of water per second from the Gauteng Province to South Africa.
The Lesotho Highlands are the top source of fresh water in South Africa and the agreement will provide Lesotho with a source of income as it provides water to the central Gauteng province, an area of South Africa with a heavy concentration of industrial and mining operations. In addition, the project will generate hydroelectricity, enough to meet 100% of Lesotho’s needs.
There will be four dams built: Katse Dam (155 m) (pictured above) and Mohale Dam (153 m) both of which have been completed. Mashai Dam (182 m) and Tsoelike Dam (155 m) are yet to be finished. Together, the dams will produce 110 MW, 110 MW, 166 MW, and 110 MW respectively. The main feature of the project besides the dams are water tunnels that will transfer water at a rate of 10 to 30 m³ per second.
The following map shows the phases and locations of the dams, tunnels and more. Phase 2 of the project is currently underway.
The following image shows the Katse Dam: