Nam must employ water demand management techniques

23 Mar 2016 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 MAR (NAMPA) – The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Anna Shiweda says Namibia must employ efficient water demand management techniques and avoid unnecessary wastage of this scarce resource.
The deputy minister was speaking at the commemoration of World Wetlands Day and World Water Day which took place at Von Bach Dam in the Otjozondjupa Region on Tuesday.
“What we can do in the short term is to ensure that the limited available water is used efficiently and wisely. Let us educate our children to use water wisely, adapt or adopt innovative ways to ensure the available limited water generates the desired maximum benefits for a much longer period than anticipated,” she said.
Shiweda explained that in an attempt to keep the taps running, principal stakeholders in the water sector have been exploring and implementing non-conventional sources of water such as the artificial recharge of ground water, desalination of sea water as well as reclamation and the re-use of waste water for suitable purposes.
Other options such as drawing water from the Okavango River, a permanent reliable source, could be considered as well on the future.
This is however not an immediate mitigation measure as it involves international protocols and cooperation with other riparian (relating to or situated on the banks of a river) states.
Shiweda noted that looking at various establishments, potential water saving through water demand management interventions in urban centres varies from four per cent to 85 per cent by installing devices such as dual flush toilets, water efficient shower heads, fixing leaks and re-using grey water for gardening.
Grey water is waste water generated in households or office buildings from streams without faecal contamination.
Shiweda further stated that irrigation accounts for the highest amount of water used in the country, which stands at 41 per cent but offers potential savings of between 15 and 25 per cent through the implementation of water demand management initiatives such as the installation of drip irrigation and proper irrigation scheduling.
The commemoration was held under the theme ‘Wetlands and Water Sustainable Livelihoods, Jobs and Development’.