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Home The River Basin People and the River Governance Resource Management
The River Basin
Climate and Weather
 Principles of Hydrology
 Water Cycle
 Surface Water
 Stream Order
Lakes and Reservoirs
 SW/GW Interactions
 Water Balance
 Hydrology of Southern Africa
 Hydrology of the Kunene Basin
Water Quality
Ecology & Biodiversity



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Lakes and Reservoirs  

A lake is a body of standing water, defined by the geography of an area. Flow may be reduced by low relief or by a narrowing of the channel, in either case allowing water to accumulate (Pidwirny 2006).

A reservoir is a body of water that collects behind a dam wall or weir. These man-made barriers to flow are usually erected to gather water for water supply for domestic, industrial or agricultural purposes. The controlled release of water can also be used to generate electricity. Dams can vary in size from small farm dams, designed to retain small volumes of water for irrigation and livestock watering, to enormous dam walls constructed by national water authorities for projects of national importance.

The amount of time water stays in a reservoir or lake is known as the residence time; the time it takes to change all the water in a lake or reservoir is known as the replacement rate. Residence times and replacement rates can range from years in large natural lakes, to weeks in large reservoirs, and days in run-of-the-river dams.

The reservoir behind the Gove dam in the Upper Kunene.
Source: Kellner 2010
( click to enlarge )




Explore the sub-basins of the Kunene River

Video Interviews about the integrated and transboundary management of the Kunene River basin

Explore the interactions of living organisms in aquatic environments

Examine how the hydrologic cycle moves water through and around the earth