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Sewage water is good for you

The proof of the pudding is in the drinking…....John Aerhaizeu,  General Manager of the Goreangab reclamation plant drinks recycled water from the plant.

The proof of the pudding is in the drinking…….John Aerhaizeu, General Manager of the Goreangab reclamation plant drinks recycled water from the plant.

The City of Windhoek will next year become the first African city to host the bi-annual international conference on water reclamation and reuse as the use of recycled water gains momentum across the globe amid a water crisis brought about by the effects of climate change.
Windhoek was chosen to host the 9th international conference based on the city’s “outstanding achievements” in waste water treatment and recycling. The conference will tackle a range of issues involving water reclamation and re-use in all areas of social and economic life.
In 1968, Windhoek became the first major city in the world to begin directly reclaiming treated waste water for use in its drinking water network through a pioneering initiative.
In 2001, the city awarded a 20-year contract to a consortium led by Veolia Water to build and operate a second facility able to recycle pre-treated waste water as drinking water. The goal was to come up with a long-term, reliable solution to meet growing water demand from the local population.

The Goreangab reclamation plant was built after the water supply from Von Bach, Avis and Goreangab Dams could not meet the water demand of a population now estimated at around 300,000. The plant has a capacity to produce 21000 cubic meters of water per day but currently provides an average of 17000 cubic meters per day to the City of Windhoek, a fifth of the city’s estimated demand of 75000 cubic meters per day.
The plant was until recently, the only commercial direct-potable reclamation plant in the world.
City of Windhoek Mayor, Elaine Trepper told the Economist that the conference, which will attract water experts from across the globe, will be used to measure the plant’s quality standards against international best practices.
She said: “The benefits of the conference for the City of Windhoek and the country in particular will be that we will know more or less exactly where we are with technology today and how we can go forward especially with re-use of water.
She said the conference will also provide ideas on how the city can assist other towns within the country to re-use water because water is a scarce commodity in this country.  “You know we have a semi-arid climate and water is becoming more and more important..”
She added: “We will also assist other countries in our region because you know if you go to other countries on the African continent, the water there is not so pure that you can take it from the tap, but you have to buy bottled water. “So we want to assist other countries in the region to make their water as pure as possible so that you can use it straight from the tap.”
The mayor said, as a pioneer, the Goreangab reclamation plant has drawn world-wide attention. “Everybody is interested in it because of the fact that we in Namibia were the first ones to start with reclamation. People have now realised how important reclamation of water is. In many countries people waste water but now they have realised, because of climate change, that water is becoming a scarce commodity.”

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