Dam levels cause for major concern
Dam levels across the country are dangerously low despite the widespread rains of the season. A NamWater official said this week, despite good precipitation, the key reservoirs that supply Windhoek are all substantially lower than last year this time, which was still at the beginning of the drought.
The bulk water supplier’s weekly dam bulletin revealed this week that dam levels are dangerously low although not yet critical. NamWater was anxiously monitoring the rain of the latter part of the week, hoping that the good rains in several districts will help to alleviate the looming disaster.
The average level of all the dams is only 36.1% compared to last season when the country’s reservoirs were 47.1% of full capacity despite the drought.
According to this week’s dam bulletin the reservoirs that supply most of the water utilised in Windhoek comes from the Swakoppoort, Von Bach, and Omatako dams. The Swakoppoort Dam is currently 45% full compared to last year when its level stood at 68.4%. Other dam levels are: Von Bach 46.6% (81.2% last season), Omatako 5.2% (3.8% last season) and Friedenau 60% (80.5% last season). Goreangab Dam on the outskirts of Windhoek is still 100.2% full, the same as at the beginning of last year but this is due to the City of Windhoek’s water reticulation works.
“The inflow into the dams is still very low. For NamWater, it is a concern, because uninterrupted water supply to our customers will be disturbed and strict water conservation and savings measures will be suggested to our customers” said NamWater Public Relations Officer for Executive Management, Tommi-Riva Numbala. Numbala explained that NamWater only supplies 60% of the water to Windhoek while the rest is supplied from the City of Windhoek’s own sources. NamWater’s reservoirs, Von Bach, Swakoppoort and Omatako, can sustain the supply for possibly two seasons but Numbala warned people who live in areas with little water to work sparingly with water and learn to conserve water.
Numbala highlighted that water restrictions and interruption of water to residents only lies with the municipalities and town councils and not with NamWater. “If the City of Windhoek feels a threat to their supply of water they normally introduce and enforce various measures on residents to conserve water” he said. As for the other regions, the level of the biggest dam in the country, the Hardap Dam, is currently at 37.1% compared to 48% last season. The Naute Dam near Keetmanshoop is 56.3% full compared to 63.7% last year, and the Oanob Dam at Rehoboth stands at 50.8% compared to 62.9% last season.