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Lourens River Catchment Forum set to improve local environment and tackle flooding<p>​The Lourens River catchment covers 130km2, originating from the Diepgat Ravine and flowing through Somerset West, before entering False Bay. The entire length of the Lourens River was declared a Protected Natural Environment in 1997, making it one of the only five rivers with such protection in South Africa. </p><p>The mountainous surroundings and bare slopes contribute to orographic rain, which falls in concentrated volumes at short periods, making the river susceptible to severe flooding.<br></p><p>As a result, the Water and Sanitation Directorate has started implementing flood mitigation measures in phases, as part of the Lourens River Flood Alleviation Scheme.<br></p><p><span></span></p><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:927px;" /></figure>​​Alongside this, the City has established a platform for community members to make a contribution through the Lourens River Catchment Forum, which has been active since June 2023. The new forum brings together members from the City, local residents and business representatives from the catchment area. Their role is to work together to address concerns affecting the river such as water pollution, environmental awareness and maintenance of the river and surrounds.<p></p><p>‘We are committed to seeing through the collaborative initiatives spearheaded by community members, which will transform the Lourens River Catchment and at the same time conserve the environment for future generations. The City’s ongoing river maintenance and upgrade programmes provide the foundation upon which much more can be achieved, with the support of our residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.<br></p><p><span></span></p><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" /></figure>​​The City has invested in a number of initiatives already implemented at Lourens River. Riverbanks have been reconstructed, alien vegetation clearing is ongoing, and replanting of indigenous vegetation has taken priority.<p></p><p>‘We support projects to improve the conservation of the river, as well as owners and residents in the catchment area, as long as they comply with the law in terms of the protected status of the Lourens River. It’s important to maintain rather than reduce the natural state of the river, and to have gone through a proper public participation process including environmental impact assessments,’ said Steven Louw, chairperson of the Lourens River Catchment Forum.<br></p><p><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:821px;" /></figure>​​</span>The next phase of the overall capacity upgrade entails a R44 million project that will commence end August 2023, which aims to reduce flooding for the safety of residents and infrastructure in a sustainable manner. This includes the construction of flood alleviation measures, widening and deepening of the river flood plains as well as the rehabilitation of existing alleviation measures and infrastructure along the Lourens River, Strand and Somerset West, between Hathersage Farm and  Beach Road Bridge Reserve.</p><p><br></p>2023-08-17T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#352cb5da-6a34-4bf4-959d-14dc8987a2b4;L0|#0352cb5da-6a34-4bf4-959d-14dc8987a2b4|water and sanitation;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#c1e12656-7d70-488e-897e-6465b138e2f4;L0|#0c1e12656-7d70-488e-897e-6465b138e2f4|River management;GP0|#83c376f7-9473-4843-add4-93ccbe66eddf;L0|#083c376f7-9473-4843-add4-93ccbe66eddf|Strand10

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