Windhoek-The City of Windhoek (CoW) has revealed plans to improve water collection efficiency through the construction of an additional water reclamation plant that will complement the aging Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant that treats municipal wastewater for domestic use.
These plans were revealed by CoW’s strategic executive for urban planning and property development, Ludwig Narib.
Narib said the city needs approximately N$600 million to come up with the plant that will supply 50 percent of water capacity.
Narib said the current Goreangab Water Reclamation plant produces 22 percent of the city’s water needs that have risen over the years because of its growing population.
The bulk supply, he says, is unfortunately also facing a shortage as it is just able to provide about 70 to 75 percent of the water.
“We are in the process to consider to build an additional plant which is about 50 percent more in the capacity of this one [Goreangab] to make sure we are slightly resilient in times of drought as experienced two years ago. As you know the situation Cape Town is in … we certainly don’t want to be in that situation,” he revealed.
Though Cape Town is dealing with the prospect of ‘Day Zero’, the shortage of water that threatens to cripple South Africa’s second-largest city could ravage the rest of the country as well.
Restrictions on water use are also in effect in both Durban and Johannesburg, where officials warned recently that usage of water “has increased at an alarming rate.” Levels at dams in both that country’s Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces have reached dangerously low levels.
Dams that serve Nelson Mandela Bay, the metropolitan area that includes Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s fifth-largest city, were at 26 percent total combined capacity in the latest tally, roughly half as full as a year ago. The dam that supplies water to much of Durban and its northern suburbs has remained less than 25 percent full for the past year.
According to Narib, CoW is currently in the process of designing and hopes to have the planned plant running within the next four to five years from now.
In terms of water availability in the city, he noted the country is dry so every drop counts.
He explained that Goreangab reclamation water plant is the only one that supplies potable water in exception of the other five plants, which produce semi-purified water.
He said the city also depends on underground boreholes, during times of drought.
Narib maintained the city needs to produce quality water that meets international standards.
He said the city has an internationally acclaimed and recognised lab that operates 24 hours round-the-clock checking water at every point produced at the plant.
Moreover, he said government is looking at options of a desalination plant from the coast as well as extracting water from the Kavango River to equally supply bulk water to the central areas of Namibia.
However, Narib said the desalination plant is a very costly exercise, and will not be realised any time soon hence the need to construct a second reclamation plant.