Windhoek working to avert water crisis

The City of Windhoek has announced water crisis restrictions as part of a drought response plan. Residents and businesses will be required to save 10% of their consumption effective from 1 July.

City of Windhoek’s spokesperson, Lydia Amutenya explained to Observer Money that for the city to have enough water, the dams require one good rain season to have sufficient water while the Windhoek aquafer requires at least three good rain seasons to have enough water.

Observer Money (OM): In terms of water consumption in Windhoek, how much do commercial and industry processes consume?

Lydia Amutenya (LA): Domestic Consumers consume approximately 60% and commercial consumers consume 40% of Windhoek’s water.

OM: What is the annual water consumption in Windhoek and how much shortfall will be created by the drought?

LA: The annual water demand for Windhoek is close to 26 million kiloliters for 2023. It is remarkable to observe that the efforts of the Windhoek community to save water has achieved to keep the water demand below 26 million kiloliters since 2011.

OM: Which companies are the biggest water consumers in Windhoek and how is the City of Windhoek engaging them?

LA: The large water consumers are closely monitored and have implemented procedures to optimize their water consumption. The companies are imposed a water consumption limit and have proven to be responsible.

OM: How much water does the City of Windhoek want the commercial and industry processes consume?

LA: The required water savings are for all consumers. Therefore, the commercial water consumers are equally motivated to save the 10% water and more were possible.

OM: What are the current levels of water available to Windhoek, compared to the same period last year?

LA: The actual water scarcity is a result of the surface water limitations. Considering that von Bach dam has only 11.3% water is a concern.

OM: How many good rainy seasons does Windhoek need to have adequate water supply?

LA: For the dams, one good rain season is sufficient. For the Windhoek aquafer at least three good rain seasons are required.

OM: Kindly provide with the water sources of Windhoek and their capacity?

LA: The Water Reclamation Plant produce about 18 000 cubic meters (m3 per) day, the borehole scheme produces about 26 000 m3 per day and NamWater supply about 26 000 cubic meters (m3) per day

OM: Anything else that you may wish to add?

LA: Water is a precious and finite resource, and its scarcity poses a significant challenge to communities worldwide. The declaration of Water Scarcity Category C is a critical reminder that water conservation is not just a personal responsibility but a collective one. It is imperative for all residents, businesses, and institutions to understand the gravity of the situation and actively engage in reducing water consumption. Simple actions such as fixing leaks, using water-saving fixtures, and adopting water-efficient practices can make a substantial difference. By striving to save at least 10% of our current water use, we can contribute to a more sustainable and secure water future. It is a goal that requires the commitment and concerted effort of every member of our community to achieve. Together, we can ensure that our water resources are managed wisely to meet our needs today and in the future.

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