NamWater to reduce water supply to CoW

18 Feb 2016 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 18 FEB (NAMPA) – Namibia’s national water utility, NamWater Corporation, will cut its water supply to the City of Windhoek (CoW) by 20 per cent to postpone the run-dry date of supply dams from August 2016 to April 2017.
The reduction comes into effect on 01 March 2016, as the corporation is experiencing a critically poor inflow into its dams.
NamWater only has three dams that supply water to Windhoek: Omakato, Swakoppoort and Von Bach.
CoW Manager for Corporate Communications and Care, Joshua Amukugo informed Nampa upon enquiry on Thursday water tariffs will not be affected as the reduction in supply is not directly linked to the cost of the water.
Tariff increases will only be affected once NamWater increases its bulk tariffs to break even.
He said a reduction in supply will however severely affect the CoW's ability to distribute a continuous water supply to its residents.
“NamWater is very reliant on favourable climatic conditions. A break in the current drought will bring much relief.”
Amukugo noted that despite Namwater’s system of a sustainable supply for the short term (eight to 10 years), the water shortage will remain a reality until the supply can be augmented by the responsible authorities.
Currently, the City is focussed on developing the well field for an emergency supply while looking into developing sustainable alternative sources through water reuse schemes. The water shortage and reduction in that supplied to the capital city’s municipality, is expected to affect businesses.
“It is envisaged that the economy will be severely affected, particularly commercial consumers who utilise water in their end-products.”
Amukugo added that a significant impact on the tourism sector is foreseen, in particular the image of Windhoek as a sought-after destination in Africa with well-developed and maintained infrastructure; indirect consequences in terms of foreign confidence can be speculated on.
Given limited resources and realistic expectations, the CoW will shut off irrigation supplies where potable water is still used, negotiate quotas with high demand commercial consumers and drive public campaigns, like the one launched in October 2015 that limits the use of water by residents when washing cars, watering gardens and filling swimming pools.
“The City has not gone silent. Water restrictions are and remain in full force. Any further information in this regard can be obtained.”
According to the latest statistics provided by NamWater on 25 January 2016, the Omakato dam held 1.147 cubic metres (2.6 per cent); Swakoppoort dam, 25.278 cubic metres (39.8 per cent) and Von Bach dam 18.768 cubic metres (38.6 per cent) water capacity.