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Central Area water in crisis

With both the Swakoppoort and von Bach dams down to only 35% of full capacity and the rain season at its end, a major water crisis is looming. These two dams supply 65% of Windhoek’s required raw water.

Water utility NamWater this week confirmed the severe nature of the pending crisis saying it has in the past pleaded with the City of Windhoek to urge Windhoek residents to minimize their water usage. This they say was done repeatedly to emphasise the critical situation the Central Area Water Supply Network is in. This week NamWater released another statement to inform customers in the Central Area Water Supply Network that the catchment areas of the three main dams that supply water to the central area, have not received significant inflows and therefore the dam levels are very low.
Ms Lydia Amutenya, Public Relations Officer, City of Windhoek said that they rely on NamWater to provide them with 65% of water. The rest is obtained from boreholes and the reclamation plant at Goreangab Dam on the outskirts of Windhoek. There are no external sources feeding the Central Area in which the City is supplied at the moment. “To the residents, unfortunately the situation is heading to the worst, therefore if residents do not take serious action in saving water and cutting their water usage, we are facing a very critical period,” she emphasised adding that the City would like to bring to the residents’ and visitors’ attention that the request to save water should be treated with the utmost importance.
NamWater also announced that additional measures will be implemented to ensure that there is adequate water for the following two rain seasons. Some of the strategies NamWater will employ to increase the water supply to the Central Area, include an increase in the pumping of water from Berg Aukas, from the Kombat Mine, and from the Goblenz boreholes. Strategies to be employed by the City include increasing the supply of water from the Goreangab Reclamation Plant and from the City’s own boreholes. On the demand side, it is the City’s intention to enforce a 15% water restriction.
Nampower also stated that in line with this they will implement strict water demand management strategies to ensure that all beneficiaries in the Central Water Supply Area contribute fairly to the soon to be proposed water demand measures. They reiterated their request for water users in the Central Area to co-operate fully in this very important matter, asking the cooperation of everybody to ensure that hardship is reduced to the absolute minimum.
The Central Area Water Supply Network consists of Windhoek, Okahandja, Karibib, Okakarara, Navachab Mine and Hosea Kutako International Airport.

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