Upstream of the South Africa/Lesotho border, the Orange River is also known as the
Senqu which originates high in the Maluti Mountains.
The Upper Orange/Senqu area covers the Orange River basin upstream of the South
Africa/Lesotho border and therefore includes the Lesotho Highlands
Water Project (LHWP). The LHWP is one of the largest water projects of its kind
in the world resulting from international co-operation between South Africa and
Lesotho. The project involves transferring water from the upper reaches of the
Orange River basin to the Vaal River basin which supports the
industrial heartland of South Africa and main centre of population. Both countries
benefit from the scheme; South Africa by receiving much needed water for its increasing
population and Lesotho by receiving royalty payments from South Africa.
Further details of the project can be obtained by selecting an item from the navigation
bar to the left.
The map below shows details of the original proposed LHWP which was designed to
transfer 70 cumecs from Lesotho to South Africa. Construction was to proceed in 5
phases, however, only the first phase has been approved and no decision regarding further
development in Lesotho has been taken. For further details please refer to the