Mining should not be allowed to destroy water resources
13 October 2021 | Environment
Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein says mining activities that have the potential to destroy water resources through pollution or depletion should not be allowed.
Schlettwein was speaking at the launch of the third edition of the hydrogeological map of Namibia.
He said for the ministry this wealth of information is a critical input in managing and monitoring the country’s groundwater resources.
According to him, 60% of the water used in Namibia comes from groundwater and it sustains lives, livelihoods, industries and businesses.
“As a semi-arid country that is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability, evidence-based sustainable management of groundwater resources is a necessary condition as the country implements its socio-economic development agenda across generations.”
Schlettwein further said they have recently been confronted with mining in areas where important water resources may be threatened or destroyed.
“Our stance is that water is most valuable resource without which neither life nor livelihoods are possible and therefore we need to be very careful in our considerations. An activity that would have the potential to destroy (through depletion or pollution) may not be allowed in my opinion.”
He further said that Namibia is on the forefront with several aspects in water utilisation and management. The City of Windhoek with its water reclamation works was a world first and with the planned upgrading will remain ahead of the rest.
“We have started with artificial water recharge in aquifers that supply water to Windhoek. With such an approach we can utilise surface water resources much more efficiently and improve the yields by reducing losses through evaporation.
“Further, we are assuring full aquifers when surface water resources are depleted and with that improve the security of water supply. We are leaders on the African continent in this regard.”