Steenbras Dam South Africa, Cape Town

Steenbras Dam

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).

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.

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

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