- Upstream of the outfall the scores were as follows:
- One site: Largely modified / poor condition (score of 6)
- Two sites: Moderately modified / fair condition (both scores of 6.3)
- One site: Largely Natural / few modifications GOOD condition (score of 7.2)
- Downstream of the outfall the scores were as follows:
- Three sites; Largely modified / poor condition (scores of 5.4; 5.6; 5.9)
- Two sites: Moderately modified / fair condition (both scores of 6.2)
The Mpofana is the exception to the rule, and this is the reason. As we moved downstream the last few kilometres lifted our spirits. Incoming water from various tributaries resulted in a stronger stream of flowing water.
Not only were the buffer areas intact and blanketed in indigenous vegetation, but this even extended inland away from the river in some areas.
The norm here would be that as the riparian area improves, so the river health will improve – we have seen this so often on our river walks.
However, there is always an exception to the rule, and the Mpofana is that exception. Despite more intact riparian areas and water, river health declined downstream of the Mooi uMngeni Transfer outfall. All signs point to the cause as the constant layer of silt on the bed and submerged rocks that began downstream of the outfall.
This layer of silt is smothering the life out of the Mpofana.