Dam levels remain low despite good rains
08 January 2020 | Agriculture
The latest dam bulletin indicates Namibia’s reservoir levels are at 18.2%, less than half of last season’s 41%.
Despite good rainfall received recently across the country, dam levels of Namibia’s reservoirs remain very low.
The latest dam bulletin issued by NamWater indicates that the average level of Namibia’s dams currently stands at 18.2%, down from 20.4% last week.
Last season, the dam levels were about twice that, with an average level of 41%.
However, several dams have received some inflow during the past week.
The Von Bach Dam in the central area of Namibia received an inflow 1.671 million cubic meters of water and is currently 39.8% full, while last season it was at 59.6%.
The Omatako Dam received 2.853 million cubic meters, increasing its levels from 7.4% to 14%. Last season, it stood at just 0.2%.
According to the dam bulletin, the sub-total of the dams in the central area of Namibia, which also includes the Swakoppoort Dam, currently stands at 18.9%. This compared to the previous season’s 35%.
Goreangab Dam also received an inflow of 0.470 million cubic meters of water. This pushed the level up to 100% from the previous week’s 87%. Last season, the levels stood at 98.2%.
In the Gobabis area, the Otjivero Main Dam received 0.075 million cubic meters, increasing from 7.4% to 8.2%. The dam was 12.5% full the previous season.
The Tilda Viljoen Dam received 0.103 million cubic meters, increasing its levels from 22.1% to 30.5%. The previous season, the dam was 44.4% full.
The Daan Viljoen Dam also received an inflow of 0.021 million cubic meters and currently stands at 65.5%, up from last week’s 60.6%. Last season, the levels stood at 29.1%.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s second largest reservoir, the Hardap Dam, stands at just 7%, while last season it was 44.2% full.
According to the Agricultural Inputs and Household Food Security Situation report released by the agriculture ministry, water supply in Namibia has been a challenge across the country during the course of the drought period.
The report says that poor water supply was reported in the north central regions (Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto) as most water catchments did not receive sufficient inflow during the previous rainy season. “As a result, many farmers were dependent on pipelines, wells and boreholes to supply their livestock, which is a costly exercise.”
In the north east (Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions), water supply was noted to be satisfactory with rivers and streams being the main source alongside boreholes and wells in the inland areas.
According to the report, in the southern and western parts of the country, the underground water table level has dropped below normal pumping levels, resulting in low yields and frequent breakdowns of boreholes.
Furthermore, the communal areas of Karasburg, Berseba and Bethanie in the //Kharas region are severely affected by water shortages.
“Several boreholes are reported to have dried up due to insufficient replenishment of the underground reserves in the past years. In addition, fountains in the Kunene Region are also affected as they are now yielding low and some have totally dried up.”
The report says that the Khomas, Otjozondjupa and Erongo regions have also experienced water shortages due to a decrease in the underground water level, with most ephemeral rivers dry.
In the Omaheke Region, the water situation was noted to be a challenge due to low yield of boreholes as a result of dropping of water table. Otjombinde, Otjinene and partly Epukiro constituencies are the worst affected areas.
STILL TOO LOW: Dam levels in the country remain dangerously low.