Pangani Estuarine Health Assessment Report

The report present information about the health of the Pangani Estuary. This is by no means a comprehensive assessment of the health of the system but is rather an initial health determination designed to provide an overview of the status of the system and to highlight potential flow related problems affecting the health of the system.

This report forms part of the Pangani River Basin Flow Assessment Initiative. It is based on a health assessment of the river during the wet and dry seasons, together with existing PBWO water-quality data collected at key points along the river. Thirteen study sites (Figure E1) were selected to represent a range of zones (Mountain Stream; Upper Foothill; Lower Foothill; Mature Lower River and Rejuvenated Bedrock Cascade).

The methods used for the assessment are based on those developed in the River Health Programme of the National Aquatic Ecosystem Health Biomonitoring Programme of South Africa. The method involves the collection of information necessary to characterise a site, to provide an indication of catchment condition and land-use, together with relevant abiotic (water quantity and quality) and biotic
(invertebrates, fish, riparian vegetation) information. Each of these biotic components provides information of the health on the instream or riparian zone of the river. A field manual and associated datasheets have been compiled for use in the IUCN-Pangani Basin River Health assessment.

The results section provides a description of the characteristics of each site, including a description of channel classification and stream dimensions, together with a photographic record for each site during the wet and dry seasons. In terms of water uantity, discharge were generally higher at sites in the wet season compared to the dry season, with the exception of two lower foothill sites (R8 and R9), both below NYM dam.

Sites R2, on the Kikuletwa River, and R7, on the Muraini River, dried up during the dry season; the latter due to the seasonal nature of the river. The site on the mature Lower River (R11) had highly variable flow within a 24-hour period in the dry season due to storage and releases from the Pangani Falls Hydropower station.

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