Darlington Dam

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Darlington Dam
Official nameDarlington Dam
CountrySouth Africa
LocationEastern Cape
Coordinates33°12′22″S 25°8′1″E / 33.20611°S 25.13361°E / -33.20611; 25.13361Coordinates: 33°12′22″S 25°8′1″E / 33.20611°S 25.13361°E / -33.20611; 25.13361
PurposeIrrigation, industrial and domestic
Opening date1922 (renovated 1952)
Owner(s)Department of Water Affairs
Dam and spillways
Type of damGravity dam
ImpoundsSundays River
Height35.3 m
Length230 m
CreatesLake Mentz
Total capacity187 000 000 m³
Catchment area16 700 km2
Surface area3452.7 ha

Darlington Dam, also referred to as Lake Mentz. is a gravity type dam situated in the Sundays River, near Kirkwood, in Eastern Cape, South Africa. It was established in 1922 and was renovated in 1952. The dam has a capacity of 187,000,000 cubic metres (6.6×109 cu ft), with a 35.3 metres (116 ft)-high wall. Its primary purpose is for irrigation, industrial and domestic use.

Droughts created a critical situation in the Darlington Dam (formerly Lake Mentz) region which, despite being a fertile area, requires an assured water supply. The serious drought of 1966 and 1967 emphasized the necessity to commence work on the Skoenmakers Canal (capacity: 22 m3/s) to link the Great Fish River to Darlington Dam as soon as possible. In view of an expected increase in irrigation below Darlington Dam and the demand for water in the Port Elizabeth metropolitan area, it was decided to replace the Wellington Grove pumping station with De Mistkraal Weir upstream of Wellington Grove and a short section of connecting canal to the beginning of the Skoenmakers Canal.

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