Anse Etoile consulted on raising of La Gogue dam



The meeting with Anse Etoile residents on Monday

Present at the meeting was the principal secretary for environment and energy Wills Agricole, Public Utilities Company (PUC) chief executive Philip Morin, officials of the Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) and representatives of Gibbs Engineering, the company commissioned to assess the project’s feasibility.

Mr Agricole said the government is looking at other options to secure clean water to satisfy the growing demand of our population and is not just focusing on desalination.
He said raising the dam by between four and six metres and building a new treatment plant, will bring benefits to the water supply on Mahé.

An ongoing study will determine whether to raise the La Gogue dam by four metres or higher. The northern side will be raised by back filling of earth, which shall take the shape of a very gradual slope covered by vegetation and allowing rainwater to drain off.

Michel Pathe of Gibbs Mauritius said the topography, with steep hillsides, makes it difficult to build new dams.
La Gogue dam is presently getting 25% of its water from its own catchment area, while the bulk is fed by pipe from the Rochon reservoir.

Transferring water from Mount Simpson to La Gogue will also contribute to the increase of the yield from the dam and necessitate increased storage capacity.

At full storage level, La Gogue Dam is about 85,000 cubic metres, from which an average 14,000 cubic metres are drawn daily. During the wet season, the dam overflows – at times for two weeks on a continuous basis – thereby losing a significant amount of good quality water.

“It is a shame to lose all this good water, about 4,400 cubic metres daily,” Mr Pathe said.
He also said that drilling is taking place up to a depth of 75 metres to find out the strength of the bedrock. He said this will give an idea of seepage, adding that earth dams all over the world have a small degree of seepage. “This is not unusual,” he said. 

Mr Pathe added that increasing the La Gogue dam capacity will also alleviate stress on Le Niol and other water supplies.
Residents were particularly concerned about the impact on housing and the environment. There are some 300 houses in La Gogue and Maldives.

Mr Morin said the only new pipeline will be the one from Mount Simpson. He added that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) will shortly be carried out to take into account all these considerations.

Mr Morin said the PUC is liaising with the MLUH to assess if and how many residents will be affected.

Consultations will also be held with the landowners concerned, whose views will be taken into consideration prior to the project’s implementation.
People from Glacis were also to give their views about the project in a meeting yesterday.