A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams not only suppress floods but also provide water for activities such as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability. Hydropower is often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees (also known as dikes) are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions.

South Africa is situated in a semi-arid region in the world, and therefore, South Africa ‘s water resources are very scarce, The country also has no large perennial rivers like in other parts of the world. The groundwater resources of the country, although very important for small towns and rural communities, are insufficient to sustain even a significant proportion of the water requirements of South Africa . Therefore, surface water is the main supply source. And that also makes it crucial for the country to maintain a network of well managed dams to keep and supply water even during drought.