Environmental Flow Assessment for the Berg Estuary

Comprehensive determination of the Environmental Water Requirements for the Berg River Estuary.
Department of Water Affairs
South Africa

Anchor was appointed to undertake a comprehensive reserve determination (flow assessment) study to assess the present ecological status of the Berg estuary, and the potential impacts of various alternative flow scenarios on the ecological health and functioning of the system. The project entailed the preparation of a high resolution Digital Elevation Model of the estuary and associated floodplain areas, the setting up of a detailed hydrological and hydrodynamic models for the system, the simulation of present day, naturalised, and a range of operation flow scenarios, and estimating the responses in abiotic (water quality and sediment), biotic (microalgae, macroalgae, vegetation, invertebrates, fish and birds), and socio-economic (subsistence, property, tourism, nursery, and existence value) response variables. The project recommendations are being implemented in terms of flow releases from the Berg River Dam and the management plan for estuary.