Mariental residents say Hardap Dam water release is a waste

12 Sep 2017 16:30pm
By Rhonie ||Garoeb
REHOBOTH, 12 SEP (NAMPA) – Some residents in the Hardap Region are unhappy about water being released from the Hardap Dam for use on the construction of the Neckartal Dam in ||Kharas Region, saying it is a waste of water.
Two-thousand cubic metres of water were released from the dam on Monday.
Namibian bulk water utility, NamWater, said in a statement Monday this was done in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the Hardap Regional Council.
NamWater said the water level in the Hardap Dam was below 70 per cent, and this is sufficient and some water can be used for construction work at Neckartal without incurring domestic or irrigation water losses to the present customers.
However, some residents decried the situation on social media.
Sidney Windstaan, a resident of Mariental, told Nampa on Tuesday it is a total waste of water.
“It is even very hot in the south now and this causes more transpiration and evaporation of water,” he said.
Windstaan claimed that by Tuesday morning, the water did not even reach Gibeon, which is approximately 93 kilometres (km) south of the Hardap Dam. The distance between Gibeon and Neckartal Dam is about 272km.
Another resident who did not want her name mentioned, said the exercise will not work and might empty the Hardap Dam.
“Why can’t they use water from the Naute Dam (also in ||Kharas Region) or use tankers to get it over to Neckartal Dam? It is an illogical idea,” she fumed.
Hardap Governor, Esme Sophia Isaak on Tuesday said it will be the third time water is released from Hardap Dam for Neckartal Dam. The first time was early August and the second time during mid-August.
“We should know that these things are not just done overnight, but through following the correct procedures,” Isaak said.
She explained there is no pipeline running from Naute Dam to Neckartal, so Hardap Dam was deemed the cheaper and best option to release water for the construction purposes.
“An option to use tankers to transport water to Neckartal was there, but will cost Government N.dollars 50 million per month,” Isaak noted.
She stated that it was approved by relevant authorities that 50 million cubic metres of water be released.
According to Isaak, the water has reached Asab, some 120km north of Keetmanshoop.
Approached for comment, Johannes Shigweda, head of public relations, marketing and communication at NamWater, on Tuesday said three per cent of the total water in the dam is being released. The dam is currently stands at 59.8 per cent, he said.
“We are releasing water in portions and once the water we released yesterday (Monday) reaches Neckartal Dam in approximately 14 days, we will again release water,” Shigweda said.
Neckartal Dam is being built to supply irrigation to 5 000 hectares of farm land in the area. Construction is expected to be completed next March.