Drastic measures to save water
“If we are not saving water as residents of Windhoek, we might take severe action, like only supply water at specific hours of the day in the City,” said Lydia Amutenya, the Public Relations Officer at The City of Windhoek.
Such drastic measure, she said, can be their next destination but she is sure that no-one would want a situation where water can only be obtained at certain intervals, which will be very inconvenient. “But it can transpire” she warned.
Amutenya added that to help with the process of saving water, the City has closed all municipal swimming pools until the end of August 2016. “However if the water crisis deteriorates, the pools will remain closed,” she stated adding that the City will keep the pools closed in an effort to save water, as it is more important that all residents have water to drink until the next rain season.
The City currently does not know how much water is being used to fill up the pools because the water usage of the pools is combined with all the other utilities, such as the toilet and shower facilities at the pools. “But the water will remain in the pools, until the pools are re-opened where they will be treated with chemicals before they open again to the public. Therefore they will not be emptied during the off season,” she explained.
The City recently introduced a Zero Tolerance Drought Response Plan and listed restrictions that the residents should adhere to. They stated that residents are expected to familiarise themselves with the full extent of the Drought Response Plan, and that perpetrators risk suspension of supply and a penalty of N$2000. “This exercise can be very costly to the City, but at the moment it is being done as part of our existing operations,” emphasised Amutenya.
The City of Windhoek relies on NamWater for 60% of its water for consumption during normal seasons, but during severe drought the bulk supply falls short. “If the dams dry up, we will not be able to make ends meet, since the demand is already too high, which is a result of not enough inflow into our dams,” she concluded.
Residents may not water their lawns, flowers, vegetables, they are prohibited from washing their cars at home, all pool covers are mandatory and no filling of private pools are allowed. No water features, fountains and ponds are to be operated or filled.