The municipality area covers 21,780 square kilometres (8,410 sq mi) and stretches from the Orange River valley northwards to the international border with Botswana. Irrigation from the Orange River has produced a narrow band of irrigated land along the valley, while the rest of the municipality is desert, being the southernmost extent of the Kalahari. The Molopo and Kuruman Rivers flow intermittently through this desert area.
According to the 2011 census the municipality has a population of 93,494 people in 23,245 households. 65.2% of these people describe themselves as "Coloured", 23.1% as "Black African", and 9.9% as "White". 86.5% of the population speaks Afrikaans as their first language, 5.1% speak Xhosa, 3.6% speak Tswana and 1.9% speak English.
Most of the residents of the municipality live in the town of Upington, which has a population of 74,834. There are several smaller agricultural villages in the Orange River valley; they include (from east to west) Lamprechtsdrif (pop. 817), Karos (pop. 1,249), Leerkrans (pop. 1,383), Straussburg (pop. 1,157), Swartkop (pop. 1,652), Louisvale (pop. 4,435) and Klippunt (pop. 3,473).
Most of Upington's wines are produced by Orange River Wine Cellars (OWC). The company has six depots in the area (all of them on the banks of the Orange River) at Upington, Kanoneiland, Grootdrink, Kakamas, Keimoes and Groblershoop. The wines from OWC are exported, inter alia, to Europe and the USA. A number of privately owned cellars also exist in the area. The //Khara Hais region accounts for more or less 40% of South Africa's grape exports.