Water supply in Namibia remains a challenge – minister

Potable Drinking Water
Potable Drinking Water

Namibia is struggling to meet daily water supply demand for the capital city Windhoek and surrounding central areas, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, has told lawmakers.

“The security of water supply in an arid country like Namibia remains a challenge and it is difficult to meet daily demand. In the central areas, we still have water security, and supply shortages,” Schlettwein said here on Thursday evening.

“Water infrastructure is old and reaching the end of its life,” he noted, adding over 90 percent of the country’s water usage is groundwater which is usually not fit for consumption and has to be purified at a cost through desalination plants.

Schlettwein said the semi-arid nation had to tap into new sources because the existing ones were not enough to supply anymore, adding that the country developed a good field in Windhoek which is a deep water aquifer that is about 400 meters deep and can supply about 12 percent additional to the demand for Windhoek

“The country is trying to get a master plan in place that will inform how efficient it would be to link the dams in the country’s southern region to the central area because the only alternative source we have now with the central areas after this upgrade is either desalinated water or water from the southern dams which is a question of cost,” he said.

The other plan is to augment the supply to Windhoek from the Kavango river which is northeast but the idea is still in the study phase, Schlettwein said.
Windhoek has been experiencing a water security problem since 2015, forcing President Hage Geingob to establish a cabinet water committee tasked with finding a solution for the water problem. Enditem

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