Namibia faces 'high water stress'

18 April 2019 | Disasters


Namibia, which is already challenged by prolonged droughts and severe water shortages in some areas, has been identified as one of the countries that will face high water stress by 2040.

According to a report by international not-for-profit organisation WaterAid, physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by the growing demand on water resources by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress, while many other countries including Namibia and most of southern Africa, India, China, the United States and Australia will face high water stress.

Over the past years, Namibia's water sector has increasingly come under pressure. Demand for water has steadily increased driven by increased urbanisation, mining operations, the construction sector and developments in tourism and agriculture.

According to a 2016 report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Namibia's total estimated renewable freshwater water resources were around 600 million cubic metres per year - a pitiful amount that will be overexploited at current rates of demand, with projected demand for 2025 anticipated at 635 million cubic metres. Namibia's dams are currently 29.6% full, while last year this time they were 44% full.

Windhoek's water consumption in 1990 was estimated at 15 million cubic metres per year and the city's growth at 3.5%. It was calculated that groundwater reserves together with the surface water used through the pipeline supply system was sufficient for residents. However, since the capital grew at a rate of 4.3%, Windhoek was classified as a water stressed city.

Its current water abstraction is estimated at about 40 million cubic metres per year, which is expected to double within the next 30 years.

The WaterAid report says globally about 4 billion people in the world live in physically water-scarce areas and 844 million do not have access to clean water close to home.

“The world's water crisis is getting worse, yet globally we use six times as much water today as we did 100 years ago, driven by population growth and changes in diets and consumer habits.” It says the progress made since 2000 to deliver clean water to 1.5 billion people around the world, is now under threat. “The human right to water must take priority ahead of other competing demands.

“It is important that production is made sustainable, so that it does not impede the day-to-day ability of people to get clean water for their basic needs.” The report calls for everyone, everywhere to have secure access to water when and where they need it by 2030. According to the report progress made to provide basic household access to water in Namibia from 2000 to 2015 increased from 77% to 79%.

The report called on governments to prioritise the human right to clean water, ensure that effective regulations and monitoring systems are in place for sustainable water use and safely manage sanitation, as well as recognise the true value of water.

It said this meant that limits should be imposed on the amount of water extracted from aquifers for irrigation or manufacturing and the monitoring of the impact of production on shared aquifers to help ward off shortages.

“It means ensuring the safe separation and treatment of human waste to prevent water contamination. And it also means supporting producers to change inefficient water use practices and providing incentives for companies to recycle water, harvest rainwater, irrigate more efficiently and reduce the amount of water used in production.” According to the report the focus should be on reducing water consumption in areas of greatest shortage, rather than setting general targets.

Similar News


Millions for drought relief

2 days ago - 18 September 2019 | Disasters

Countries are donating millions in aid to Namibia to assist the thousands of people that are in desperate need food assistance during the current drought.The...

Windhoek's water situation dire

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has issued an urgent warning to residents to reduce their water usage following the failure to meet the water consumption target....

Water crisis: residents respond

2 weeks ago - 05 September 2019 | Disasters

Over the past two weeks Windhoek residents continued a positive streak of consuming less water than the maximum target but City authorities warned that on...

90 000 livestock perish

2 weeks ago - 04 September 2019 | Disasters

It is estimated that nearly 90 000 livestock have already died from October 2018 to June this year due to the devastating drought that has...

Namibians dread worsening droughts

4 weeks ago - 22 August 2019 | Disasters

While Namibia is battling one of its worst droughts in history a mere 38% of Namibians say that droughts in the country have not become...

Save water before summer

1 month - 16 August 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek residents managed to meet the municipality's water savings target in July, but need to redouble their efforts as temperatures start rising.The municipality is urging...

39% of Namibians hungry

1 month - 15 August 2019 | Disasters

A shocking 39% of Namibians were severely food insecure by 2018, while 821.6 million people worldwide did not have enough food to eat, as hunger...

Lifeline for stranded Chobe hippos

1 month - 15 August 2019 | Disasters

An emergency borehole has successfully been drilled to pump water into a Chobe River pond, where about 68 hippos are stranded in the drying river....

Not out of the woods yet

1 month - 13 August 2019 | Disasters

Recovery after the current drought, which has been declared a national disaster, is the biggest challenge the agriculture sector will face for the next three...

Engen fuels N$1m drought relief

1 month - 09 August 2019 | Disasters

Engen has handed over N$1 million to the Dare to Care Fund to support Namibia's farmers who have been ravaged by a seven-year drought. The...

Latest News

Snuffed out

5 hours ago | Accidents

JANA-MARI SMITHA total of 101 people have died in 335 car crashes around Namibia in the past month.Experts agree that driver attitudes, and passengers' acceptance...

We need a lasting solution

5 hours ago | Columns

We have dedicated our front page today to all those who have lost their lives in road crashes this past month. Given our space constraints...

25 years for axe murderer

5 hours ago | Justice

A Rundu man has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars for killing his grandfather with a traditional axe, a panga and a knife after...

Liquidators hunt N$1bn

5 hours ago | Justice

The liquidators of the SME Bank claim that Enock Kamushinda, the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe (MetBank) and World Eagle Investments should be held liable for...

Orphan fraud case ready for...

5 hours ago | Justice

The case of a local estate administrator, who stands accused of fraud and embezzling funds belonging to several orphaned children between 2015 and 2017, is...

PDK heats it up

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

First things first; PDK's Saka music video is the best Namibian music video shot in 2019 - let's just get that out of the way....

Timo Kevin drops debut album

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

It is quite a spectacle to witness a unique artist popping up on the music scene and remaining true to themselves until their presence is...

One Africa TV expands its...

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

In a move aimed at taking its vibrant and diverse content even further beyond the boundaries of traditional media, One Africa TV (OATV) signed a...

The fight upcoming artists endure

5 hours ago | Columns

The tenacity of upcoming artists to never give up in the face of countless 'no's' given to them is what eventually takes them into the...

Load More