By Hilary Mare
WITH the waters crisis in the central areas of Namibia deepening, an estimated total of 60Mm3 (sixty million cubic metres) of usable water is available in the Windhoek aquifer, Confidente has established.
The aquifer water that has a projected withdrawal simulation period of 5-6 years is primed as one of the few water crisis mitigation measures in Central Namibia which is currently grappling a deficit of 15.7 million cubic metres of water against demand of above 30 million cubic metres between now and the next rainy season.
Outlining the contribution that the aquifer can make to the water supply crisis in central Namibia where it has already started to adversely affect business operations, strategic executive for infrastructure, water and technical services in the City of Windhoek, Pierre Van Rensburg said that the City has initiated a project to develop the aquifer and harvest water at a current commitment of an excess of N$200 million with more financial input needed to develop the aquifer further to its optimum potential.
“There is no doubt that we will have a water supply system failure between September and December this year. On the City’s side we have initiated a programme to develop other water sources such as the much talked about aquifer in which we have spent over N$200 million with the full development programme needing up to N$710 million which we do not have presently. “I have had a meeting with the President together with other senior central government officials this past week and made a presentation on the crisis at hand and what needs to be urgently done to limit the impeding effects of the water crisis and he promised that central government would urgently look at ways to mobilise resources to implement some of the needed programmes,” he said.
As cries from the business fraternity for Government to immediately declare a water disaster immediately grow louder, Van Rensburg offered some optimism stating that for past six months and in line with its development, the aquifer has provided 19 percent water to the supply system whilst 18 percent has been obtained from re-use portable system and only five percent from re-use non-portable systems. The rest of the water was obtained from the ‘3 dam system’ which has alarming dam levels with Swakoppoort Dam’s standing at 6,356 Mmł; while the Von Bach Dam stands at 9,974 Mmł, and Omatako Dam at 1,006 Mmł.
An argumentative study presented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to state house this past week posited that there is no other large enough water resource in Central Namibia identifying only two other supply options which are the Kavango River abstraction and desalination of sea water from the coast. The study further stated that there would be regular shortfalls for a long time to come until an alternative water supply source is fully implemented.
At a time when Government has said that currently, there is only N$255 million available for water supply development, establishing new water infrastructure for CAN is requiring an excess of N$10 billion immediately and a further N$24 billion in the next 35 years.
“The improvement of water quality from Swakoppoort Dam will require at least N$50 million whilst an upgrade of the Gammans waste water plan will need over a billion which are financial problems that will need to be addressed in the short term if we are to do better with water supply crisis.
“I can confirm to you that normal water supply for the next two rainy seasons cannot be achieved and it’s as simple as that,” Willem Venter, senior manager for Fixed Assets Management at Namwater affirmed.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015