The City of Windhoek will be issuing fines upm to N$2 000 to households that fail to adhere to the drought response plan intended to save the city’s dwindling water supplies. Households that waste water also risk having their water supply suspended.
The City issued a notice warning residents not to water their lawns, flowers, or vegetables. Residents are also not to wash their cars at home, other than utilising certified car washes.
The notices states that swimming pool covers are mandatory and no filling of private pools is allowed. Additionally, “no water features, fountains, or ponds are to be operated.”
This week the combined water levels in the three dams in Swakoppoort, Von Bach and Omatako dams stood at 12.9 percent.
The central towns face a serious water crisis and it is expected they will run dry by September unless the rainy season refills the water levels in the three-dam system. The situation will not improve if nothing is done in terms of water supply and water use.
City of Windhoek spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said the warning to residents to use water sparingly has lapsed. She said they started informing and educating the public on possible water scarcity in 2013.
She said the water situation only got worse last year and they start cautioning residents again. “We’ve reached the stage where we can’t warn people anymore. This time you will be fined,” she told New Era.
She explained that it is usually difficult to implement sanctions when they find people transgressing, or to get them to accept that what they are doing is wrong.
Sometimes they are told: I am not the owner of this place, thus the N$2 000 can be billed on the account of the house owner. “Whose water supply will be suspended until they honour [the fine]?” she asked.
Amutenya said they recently started visiting houses to see if residents are adhering to the water restrictions. She said they rely on the public to notify the City of Windhoek and that this has been working well, as they are receiving alerts and photos, supported with full details of residents not adhering to the drought response plan.
|In terms of water consumption, the City expects people to restrict their water use as follows: 90 litres per person living in a hostel or in a household; 20 litres per day for full day workers at the office; 15 litres per half-day workers and students, and 15 litres per car washed/cleaned.|