CORRECTION: Three desalination plants needed to address water shortage

19 Jun 2019 10:40am
ATTENTION – CORRECTION: Corrects eighth sentence, changes billion to million.

HENTIES BAY, 18 JUN (NAMPA) - Namibia needs at least three desalinations plants, in order to supply clean desalinated water to the entire country and address the water shortage.
This was according to University of Namibia (UNAM)’s Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, Professor Frank Kavishe during a briefing on the seawater desalination pilot plant at the Unam Sam Nujoma Campus in Henties Bay on Tuesday.
He said the current 3000 litres per hour or 3 cubic metres per hour of water produced by the pilot plant is not enough to address the shortage of water in Namibia, hence the need for the Government to collaborate with friendly donors to upscale the plant.
He added that this (pilot plant) desalination would need to have the capacity of 30 million cubic metres of desalinated water per year, which is the projected water demand for Windhoek and surrounding areas by the year 2020.
“Transportation of desalinated seawater by pipeline from the coast to the central regions involves pumping the desalinated water to an elevation of 17000 metres,” Kavishe noted.
The pro-vice chancellor therefore suggested the establishment of a desalination plant to be located along the coast between Swakopmund and Henties Bay in the Erongo Region, which can supply water to the central areas of Namibia, including Windhoek and surrounding areas.
The other two desalination plants would be located near the mouth of the Kunene River and Luderitz, which will be supplying water to the northern and Southern parts of the country, respectively.
The solar powered desalination project, which was commissioned by Founding President Sam Nujoma in May, is a collaboration between UNAM and the University of Turku in Finland, which was also the primary benefactor of the over N.dollars 3 million project.
Nujoma who also addressed the briefing, emphasised the need for a detailed feasibility study to acquire large-scale desalination plants and the design of suitable infrastructure to transport the clean water inland as far as Windhoek and beyond.
“I would therefore like to propose to the Government of Namibia to adopt seawater desalination using renewable energy as the principal source of bulk water supply in the medium and long run,” he added.
On the construction of desalination plants in Kunene and //Kharas Regions, Nujoma supported the idea, noting water supply as a national issue and that additional plants would be a solution to this problem.