New water regulation proposes water extraction permits
Current legislation regarding the management of water management areas, the outset of the new Water Act, as well as the obligations of water permit holders issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) were discussed during a visit to the Directorate of Water Resource Management last week.
The Executive Manager of the Namibian Farmers Union (NAU), Sakkie Coetzee, and the Manager of Research, Wallie Roux, met with officials from MAWF’s Department of Water Affairs.
At the meeting it was confirmed that the current Water Act provides for certain water control areas where permits are required to extract water. The following areas are currently included as water control areas, namely Grootfontein-Tsumeb-Otavi, Omaruru, Windhoek, Gobabis, Stampriet and Maltahöhe.
A permit is also required when water is extracted from any river in the country and according to the current Act permits are not required for extraction outside these water control areas.
The new Water Act was already promulgated and regulations made according to the new Act were drafted and are currently with the Ministry of Justice for finalisation. As soon as these regulations are approved, a date for the commencement of the new Act will be published.
According to the proposed regulations additional areas will be included as part of the water control areas. That means that water infrastructure in those areas will then be subjected to permits for water extraction.
The new Act makes provision for a grace period in such cases for owners of such infrastructures to apply for the necessary permits. During the meeting it was also mentioned that one of the conditions for a permit under the current Act is that such a person is compelled to keep monthly water extraction records and submit it on a quarterly basis to the department of Water Affairs.
It was specifically mentioned that not all current permit holders are complying with this requirement. According to the new Act this requirement would be much more enforceable.
The NAU’s intent is to keep its members informed about any progress in this regard and when the new Act would be in put in force.
In the meantime, the ministry said all permit holders in the current water control areas are requested to submit their monthly water extraction records to the Directorate of Water Resource Management on a quarterly basis.