City declares water crisis

August 9, 2015, 3:43pm


City declares water crisis

The City of Windhoek (CoW) has declared a water emergency as the two dams currently supplying water to the capital are set to dry up in less than six months.


The city had initially estimated that the dams would dry up mid-2016, but it now reports that this will happen earlier because of high water consumption.

City of Windhoek Public Relations Officer Lydia Amutenya said residents had surpassed water consumption targets by 37 percent in May and 31 percent in June.

She said residents were currently consuming water meant for October.

The August NamWater Dam content barometer shows that the Swakoppoort dam water level has reached 27 percent, while the water level at Von Bach Dam stands at 34 percent and Omatako Dam at zero.

Water consumption in the city was 9 percent over target in April after residents consumed 2 million cubic metres of water instead of 1.9 cubic metres.

In May, residents consumed about 2.4 million cubic metres of water, way above the 1.8 million cubic metres target.

Figures provided by the city show that residents consumed more water in June this year than in the corresponding month last year with a consumption of 2 million cubic metres compared to 1.8 cubic metres in 2014.

The municipality said it will change the water saving target from 15 to 20 percent towards end of September due to the severity of the situation.

Amutenya said the water crisis has become so dire due to the failure by residents to achieve water savings of at least 15 percent.

She said the 20 percent water saving mechanisms is the last attempt by the city to avert a severe water crisis.

“If this goal is not achieved, water restrictions will be implemented, and the intervals will be communicated to the public,” she said.

Since 2000, water demand in Windhoek has increased by 33 percent from 15 million cubic metres a year to just under 26 million cubic metres.

During normal conditions, the city receives about 75 percent of its water from NamWater, while five percent is from borehole water and 20 percent comes from reclaimed water.

Efforts to get a comment from NamWater proved fruitless by the time of going to print.

By Kaola Nhongo Windhoek Observer