Windhoek aquifer could supply water for 13 years: NamWater

17 Sep 2016 15:40pm
SWAKOPMUND , 17 SEP (NAMPA) - The underground aquifer at Windhoek could supply the capital with water for the next 13 years - if water is used wisely.
If water savings measures are not adhered to and not enough rain is received however, the city could run dry in three years.
This was said by NamWater Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vaino Shivute at a media conference on a water supply assessment for the Erongo Region in Swakopmund on Friday.
Shivute accompanied Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa.
“Windhoek is sitting on an underground aquifer which is recharged by rain and by other water saving methods. Currently the City of Windhoek is busy drilling boreholes to access this water in light of the drought,” Shivute said.
He said recycling and the reuse of water, less car washes or use of a bucket instead of a hosepipe to wash cars and not filling swimming pools are some of the measures introduced to save water.
He also said the two remaining dams currently supplying Windhoek and the central areas with water - Von Bach and Swakoppoort - are expected to run dry by the end of this year, if no rain is received.
The Von Bach Dam water level currently stands at 18 per cent, while Swakoppoort holds 8 per cent water.
The third dam, Omatako, has already run dry.
Expanding on Shivute’s remarks, Mutorwa said a report in local media last month that underground water was found in Windhoek, should not be understood as this being a new discovery.
“We knew there is an underground aquifer which has been fed to store water for use especially this time of drought, so what is happening is that boreholes are being drilled to access such water,” said the minister.
Mutorwa said currently water is being pumped from Kombat and Berg Aukas to augment the volume of the Von Bach Dam which feeds Windhoek.
His overall report indicates that the water supply in settlements and villages in Erongo such as Uis, Okombahe, Spitzkoppe and Otjimbingwe is critical.
However, there are procedures in place such as drilling new boreholes and the provision of water by tankers.
He said three boreholes in the Daures Constituency where Uis and Okombahe are were inspected for immediate installation.
The minister said NamWater currently supplies water with a tanker to some residents of Daures, but only in specific incidents.
“Also for Uis, NamWater is supplying water with a tanker, which is totally inadequate and insufficient, as this settlement is dire, unacceptable and dangerous because people can go a day without water.”
The minister gave his assurance that government is hard at work to ensure the water supply in the country.
Plans to root out a water supply crisis in future include pumping water from the Kavango River to the central areas as well as constructing a government water desalination plant in Swakopmund.