Water rationing a last resort for Windhoek

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Windhoek

The City of Windhoek, on the verge of a water crisis because of the highly depleted state of its main supply dams, may soon resort to rationing water supply to households if the crisis persists and worsens.

Joshua Amukugo, the manager for corporate communication and customer care at the City of Windhoek, revealed this upon inquiry late yesterday afternoon.

Asked what would happen should the three main dams supplying Windhoek with water run dry, Amukugo said: “Water rationing will be the order of the day. From all other resources only 30 percent [of Windhoek’s] water can be supplied.”

He said the boreholes in Windhoek supply 4,5 million kilolitres per annum, the reclamation plant supplies 4,8 million kilolitres per year and the dams 16 million kilolitres.

Amukugo appealed to Windhoek residents and to industrial users “to reduce their water consumption with more than 25 percent.”

On the other hand, the City of Windhoek faces a dilemma in curtailing the demand. Amukugo says, “Water demand management is the method to reduce water consumption. Voluntary consumption reduction is not effective, because of the attitude of the population.”

He also revealed that the city would start enforcing a raft of measures to save water.

Among regulations to be enforced will be a ban on watering of gardens between 10h00 and 16h00, a ban on washing vehicles with hosepipes, no hosing down of paved areas and that a showerhead should discharge less than 10 litres of water in a minute.

In the long-term the City of Windhoek intends to redouble its reclaimed water and develop the aquifer recharge project. It is also considering piping water from the Kavango River “with the unwavering support of the central government,” Amukugo indicated.

He says sourcing desalinated water is an “unaffordable option”, when compared to the cost of pumping water from the Zambezi, which would be “the cheaper option.”

The challenge with the Zambezi option is that such a project would take up to five years to implement, including the two years needed for tendering and planning, and the three years required to construct such a pipeline.

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