Steenbras Dam

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Steenbras Dam
Steenbras Dam, seen wedged between the Hottentots-Holland and Kogelberg ranges (top), with False Bay below, right
Steenbras Dam is located in South Africa
Steenbras Dam
Location of Steenbras Dam in South Africa
Official name Steenbras Dam
Country South Africa
Location Western Cape, Gordon's Bay
Coordinates 34°11′11″S 18°51′10″E / 34.186482°S 18.852779°E / -34.186482; 18.852779Coordinates: 34°11′11″S 18°51′10″E / 34.186482°S 18.852779°E / -34.186482; 18.852779
Purpose Irrigation and domestic
Opening date 1921 (renovated 1989)
Owner(s) City of Cape Town
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Gravity dam
Impounds Steenbras River
Height 28 m
Length 1700 m
Creates Steenbras Dam
Total capacity 33 517 000 m3
Catchment area 66.7 km2
Surface area 380 ha

The Steenbras Dam ("STEE-un bruss") is an earth-fill type dam located in the Hottentots-Holland mountains, above Gordons Bay, near Cape Town in South Africa. For much of the first half of the twentieth century it was the main reservoir for Cape Town but is now only one of many dams that supply the city. The hazard potential of Steenbras has been ranked high (3).[1]

There is a hydroelectric plant at the dam. The Steenbras pumped-storage scheme was opened in 1979 to supplement Cape Town’s electricity supply during periods of peak demand.

The dam is on the Steenbras River, which, in common with most rivers in the Western Cape, has a low sediment load and delivers water of very high quality. The river and dam are named after the steenbras, a fish endemic to South Africa.[2][3]

Steenbras Upper Dam is directly upstream and is used for the Steenbras Power Station (pumped storage).[4]

The City of Cape Town is investigating strengthening and raising the wall to increase Steenbras Dam's capacity.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dam Safety Office - Publications". Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  2. ^ "Steenbras Dam – Faithful supplier of water & power" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Ninham Shand inherits Stewart’s mantle" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Dams". Retrieved 2015-09-27.