The article on the Uilkraals Estuary in The Village NEWS of 20 November 2019 detailed how all the relevant authorities were involved in considering the reasons why permission was sought, and given, for the artificial breaching of that estuary.

Given the similarities at play in the Klein River system, it seems strange that there have been no moves to breach the lagoon – which hasn’t opened for some years. By then we’d had an average rainfall, so it seemed uncertain when the lagoon would open again, naturally.

If urgent action had been taken it may not have been too late for the lagoon to be breached, and I was hoping that the Municipality would give consideration to this matter.

The Village NEWS reported that the Municipality would reach a decision after 27 November, but since then there has been no further comment. Clearly, the time when the lagoon might have been opened artificially has now long gone.

In the late winter of 2019 a very high tide just lapped into the lagoon, and in 2018 it came very close to opening naturally. Developments upstream from Stanford have reduced the inflow, and it seems that the lagoon will only open if we have more than average rainfall or a sustained period of rain late in the season. Neither of these is certain to happen and the estuarine environment does require periodic opening to avoid utter stagnation.

May I suggest to the relevant authorities that they meet in, say mid-winter 2020 and assess the situation looking forward. If the lagoon subsequently reaches a height where it could be breached but seems unlikely to do so naturally, then an artificial breach could take place.

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