18 Aug 2013 07:10
SWAKOPMUND, 18 AUG (NAMPA) - The Erongo desalination plant, which was commissioned here on Friday, will bring to an end the fear of water constraints in the region.
The desalination plant is situated 30 kilometres north of Swakopmund, and will help curb water constraints in the Erongo Region by distributing water to the uranium mines in the region.
The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) on Wednesday signed two commercial agreements in order to secure the water supply in the region.
The first agreement was signed between NamWater and Areva Namibia for the supply of desalinated water to the national water utility until the end of October 2013. The second agreement was signed with the Swakop Uranium Mine, and will see desalinated water from the Areva plant supplied to the Husab Project.
Areva Managing Director Hilifa Mbako indicated during the commissioning ceremony that the event is not only symbolic, but evidence that captains of industry and the Namibian Government take water issues seriously.
The agreement between the parties involved here today has been planned for the past four years and residents of the Erongo Region do not have to fear water shortages in the future, he stated.
Areva is the sole owner of the desalination plant, which is operated and maintained by AvengWater. It uses the processes of screen filtration, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, limestone contact and chlorination to produce quality drinking water.
Also speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the General Manager of Scientific and Engineering Services at NamWater, Dr Kuiri Tjipangandjara indicated that the interim connection will supply 300 cubic metres of water per hour and about 2 million cubic metres per year.
He stated that by the year 2020, the water demand in the Erongo Region would have increased from the current 6 million to 32 million cubic metres per year as mining activities within the region increase.
We do not have water at the coast and cannot rely on ground water for much longer. As a result, water supply has been a major constraint for development at the coast. Water from this project would thus make up the shortfall, Tjipangandjara explained.
He added that the desalinated water is good quality drinking water and indicated that water samples are taken on an hourly basis.
Meanwhile, Swakop Uranium Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zheng Keping stated that the agreements reached and the subsequent operation of the plant are not only beneficial to the mining industry in the area, but also beneficial to the Namibian population at large.