Save water before summer

The City of Windhoek says based on overall usage since May this year, the average weekly water consumption is still 2% over the target for the season.

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 residents to save an additional 5% to 10% to compensate for the expected spike in water consumption this summer and to balance out the overconsumption of water prior to July.

Between May and June, the weekly consumption target of 465 000 cubic metres was not once reached. In fact, residents exceeded the target by as much as 10% some weeks.

“During winter months 5% to 10% additional water savings, beyond the 15%, are required to compensate for the expected high consumption during summer,” the municipality's weekly water watch warned this week.

The municipality also warned that the 5% additional savings have not been achieved once in the past season. For the week ending 12 August, actual consumption reached 463 252.24 cubic metres, less than 1% below the maximum weekly consumption target of 465 000 cubic metres.

For the week ending 5 August, residents consumed 96% of the target consumption, or 447 771 cubic metres, a 4% additional saving above the targeted consumption.

For the week ending 29 July, residents consumed 1% more than the allowable weekly target, with the actual consumption recorded at 467 924.29 cubic metres.

For the week ending 22 July, residents consumed 97% of the targeted consumption, achieving an additional 3% savings with actual consumption at 452 757.27 cubic metres.

For the week ending 15 July consumption was at 99% of the allowable benchmark target, with actual consumption at 459 783.04 cubic metres.



Take extra care

Nevertheless, the municipality says based on overall usage since May this year, the average weekly water consumption is still 2% over the target for the season.

Residents are urged to comply with water use regulations in order to stave off a crisis.

In May, the City of Windhoek announced that based on the annual water supply outlook for the next two rainy seasons, NamWater had reduced its supply capacity to Windhoek to 163 172 cubic metres of the required weekly demand of 539 350 cubic metres demand.

In line with this, and the increasing drought conditions, the City downgraded the city's Category C water scarcity to a Category D, thereby tightening water use regulations as well as increasing the mandatory water savings from 10% to 15%, effective as of 1 July.

The new weekly water consumption target for Windhoek was set at 465 000 cubic metres per week in line with supply abilities.

The City stated that NamWater would supply around 35% of the demand target of 465 000 cubic metres, the reclamation plant would supply 26% and the remaining supply requirements would be met by the City's boreholes from the aquifer (39%).

Any consumption above the maximum target of 465 000 cubic metres would require the City to dip into the aquifer, the municipality warned.

“All water consumed more than the target consumption of 465 000 cubic metres per week needs to be produced from the Windhoek boreholes (aquifer). All possible savings achieved will thus be offset against the supply from the Windhoek aquifer which would then further preserve our aquifer,” City CEO Robert Kahimise explained.

He warned that the aquifer cannot be exploited indefinitely and “thus consumption should strictly be managed to remain within the quota.”

NamWater's 12 August dam report shows that the country's storage dams are on average only 26% full, compared to last season's 40.1%.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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