RIVER GAUGING STATIONS INFORMATION (24hr Average):   0000KOB005 Driekoppies Weir 3.041 m3/s   | 0000KOB003 Enjakeni Weir 9.812 m3/s   |

The Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA)

The Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) is a bi-national entity formed in 1993 through the Treaty on the Development and Utilization of the Water Resources of the KOMATI River Basin which was signed in 1992. The agreement was between the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of South Africa and the purpose was to implement Phase 1 of the Komati River Basin Development Project. Phase 1 comprised; the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Driekoppies Dam in South Africa (Phase 1a) and the Maguga Dam in Eswatin (Phase 1b). The construction of Maguga Dam marked the end of phase 1 of the Komati River Basin Development Project.

Operation & Maintainence

KOBWA is now focusing on the operation and maintenance of the dams and related infrastructure. There are four (4) Departments that sustain the operations at KOBWA and these are:

  1. 1. Water Management Department: Responsible for all activities on the bulk infrastructure, systems operation, systems development, emergency     preparedness and other related functions;
  2. 2. Corporate Department: Responsible for providing human resource and information management support to the entire organization;
  3. 3. Finance Department: Responsible for the full control of repayment of loans, budgeting and financing development projects and procurement functions;     and
  4. 4. Administration Department: Responsible for daily operations of the institutions through ensuring quality and safety, communication and transparency     and internal auditing.

The Komati River Basin

The Komati River Basin is an important source of water for the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of Mozambique. It contributes some 23% of inflow to the greater Incomati River catchment. A development plan of water resources was formulated in the 1980s under the Joint Permanent Technical Commission (JPTC), which was appointed by South Africa and Eswatini to make provision for ever increasing water demands. Mozambique's share from the Komati River catchment will be determined after completion of ongoing studies of the greater Incomati water sources and demands. The long-term plan, which acknowledges Mozambique's right to an equitable share of the catchment yield, is being undertaken in phases, to cater for afforestation, in stream flow requirements and consumption by primary users (domestic and livestock), as well as the irrigated agriculture, mining and industrial sectors. Phase 1 comprised of Driekoppies Dam in South Africa on the Lomati River (Phase 1a), where a portion of the reservoir lies in Eswatini and the Maguga Dam (phase 1b), on the Komati River in Eswatini. Two treaties were concluded in 1992 between South Africa and Eswatini to give effect to these development plans. Mozambique agreed to the implementation of phase 1 of the Komati Project subject to the three Parties undertaking a joint study of the greater Incomati River Basin and adherence to interim agreements on cross-border flows at Ressano Garcia, which will be re-evaluated on completion of the study. The first of these treaties established the Joint Water Commission (JWC) to act as technical adviser to the two Parties on all matters relating to the development and utilization of water resources of common interest. The second Treaty deals with the implementation of phase 1 of the development, sanctioning the establishment of the bi-national Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) as the implementing agent, the sharing of resources and the apportionment of costs. The benefits from Driekoppies Dam were seen to be downstream in South Africa, hence South Africa bore the total cost of Driekoppies Dam (R488 million). Both Parties benefit from the Maguga Dam project and the cost sharing was approximately 40% to Eswatini and 60% to South Africa. These Treaties were ratified in 1992, followed by the appointment of the KOBWA Board and Chief Executive Officer. The construction of Driekoppies Dam commenced in July of the following year. In November 1993, Eswatini made a commitment to start the construction of Maguga Dam before the end of 1996, as seen in the commencement of construction of the northern access road. Maguga was completed in mid-2001, with water being stored in late 2000. The Komati River Basin has a total catchment area of about 11 200km2 from its headwaters to its confluence with the Crocodile River at Komatipoort. The natural mean annual runoff (before afforestation) of the catchment is estimated to be about 1 430 million cubic metres, of which the Lomati River contributes about 364 million cubic metres of approximately 25%. RSA Official Yearbook 1993.

Projections for Land Use

In 1992, the projections for land use dependent on water from the portion of the Komati River Basin down to the confluence with the Crocodile River were: * A population of 460 000 people * Irrigation of 38 700ha including 9 500ha in the Mbuluzi River Basin in Eswatini; * Providing for 123 000ha of existing and additional afforestation; * Limited mining activity * Service industries (mostly small) except for water exported to the thermal power stations located in the Highveld region of South Africa and the sugar mill at Mhlume in Eswatini. Existing storage reservoirs of significant size are the Nooigedacht, Vygeboom, Barberton, Shiyalongubo Dams in South Africa and the Sand River Dam in Eswatini. With the exception of the thermal power stations, most of the consumers were dependent on unregulated flow of the Lomati and Komati Rivers before the Project. The Development of the water resources of the Komati River basin upstream of the Mozambique border will ultimately result in the provision of a total water storage volume varying from about 1 200 to 1 900 million cubic metres, depending on the final selection for implementation of possible development phases. These phases provide for the possible construction of seven new dams and one significant river development in primary water use and irrigation in South Africa and Eswatini, as well as avail water for future afforestation, industrial and mining water demands. Equally important is meeting the obligation to provide Mozambique with its equitable share of water from the basin.