Water plan still far from reality

Namibia's newest dam is nearing completion but it won't be relieving the water shortage in the central area anytime soon.

23 August 2018 | Infrastructure

While central Namibia is expected to experience another drought in the coming season and water restrictions are already in place, a plan to connect all the major dams in the country has not yet been studied.

Namibian Sun reported in 2016 after an interview with then agriculture minister John Mutorwa that the Neckartal Dam would be part of an integral water master plan that would include the connection of storage dams.

This master plan, which has been in existence since 1974, consists of several strategies to ensure future water supply.

In terms of the plan the Neckartal and Naute dams in the far south would first be connected with the Hardap Dam at Mariental.

Hardap would then be connected to the Oanob Dam near Rehoboth, which would then be connected to the Von Bach Dam outside Okahandja, which supplies water to central Namibia.

With the Neckartal Dam now 99% completed and expected to be commissioned in October, it seems that the connection of the major dams will remain nothing more than a pipe dream for now.

In an interview with Namibian Sun the director of water resource management in the agriculture ministry, Maria Amakali, confirmed that there has been no progress on this specific strategy.

Asked whether any feasibility studies had been conducted, Amakali said that had not been done either.

Amakali could not confirm whether there is any timeframe for this project, saying that it is a long-term strategy.

She added, though, that the ministry has been hard at work on other strategies contained in the water master plan.

The water master plan firstly looks at sourcing water from the perennial rivers forming Namibia's borders.

The next step is to supply the central northern areas with water from the Kunene River, while developing another water-supply system from the Okavango River.

Water from the Fish River in the south will be stored in new dams such as Neckartal, and groundwater sources will be exploited in rural areas.

Desalination plants along the coast are next on the agenda, followed by the connection of the major inland dams.

Amakali said several solutions have been identified to avert a water crisis in the country.

In central Namibia the Gammams water reclamation works in Windhoek must be expanded, and a pipeline linking the capital with the Karst area in the north is being investigated.

The Von Bach, Omatako and Swakoppoort dams supply the central area. Water is also piped from the Karstland aquifers at Kombat and Berg Aukas to the Omatako Dam and then to the Von Bach Dam for purification.

Amakali said currently about 40% of Windhoek's water comes from these dams, while the rest is groundwater and reclaimed water from the treatment plant.

The central area's dams are about 29% full at the moment, in comparison to 46.5% at the same time last year.

“We are only in August and our rainy season normally only starts in November/December. People have to start realising the seriousness of the matter and change their behaviour,” said Amakali.

Other plans to bring more water to the central area involve the construction of a desalination plant at the coast and the Okavango link pipeline. Feasibility studies are under way.

A solution identified for the central coastal area is to rehabilitate and upgrade the Kuiseb boreholes to increase the volume of water from that source.

Another option is the replacement of pipelines from the Kuiseb collector system and the Omaruru aquifers.

A permanent arrangement is necessary on how the Orano desalination plant at Wlotzkasbaken will fit into the future water supply chain.

For the central northern area, identified solutions include the supply of electricity to and commissioning of the new permanent pumping station at the Calueque Dam in Angola.

The canal system from Calueque to Oshakati needs rehabilitation and the water purification works at Oshakati should be expanded.

The Ohangwena groundwater source should be gradually developed and incorporated.

At Rundu the upgrading and expansion of both the water supply scheme and purification works has been identified as crucial.

Reliable sources say that these identified solutions could cost several billion dollars.

“The objective is to ensure access of safe drinking water for all Namibians,” said Amakali.



ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000 residents

3 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Red tape delays housing handover

5 days ago - 18 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Windhoek town planning constraints and red tape, along with a host of other troubles, are to blame for the protracted delays in the handing over...

DBN pushes affordable homes

1 week ago - 11 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Fast-tracking residential land delivery and affordable housing will not only empower cash-strapped low-income earners and ensure them a stake in the local economy, but lead...

Hold-up on highways

1 week ago - 11 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Major sections of the Okahandja dual carriageway and the road from Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport are yet to be completed.Works minister John Mutorwa...

Engineers, builders to pay for RA building repairs

3 weeks ago - 01 March 2019 | Infrastructure

The consulting engineering firm and the building contractor Namibia Construction will have to foot the bill for repairs to the Roads Authority’s new N$219 million...

GIPF pumps millions into housing at Eenhana

3 weeks ago - 28 February 2019 | Infrastructure

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has invested N$17.4 million in housing aimed at low- and medium- income groups at Eenhana in the Ohangwena region.According...

Oopoloyeka mbali dhomoshilongo dha talika unene omeho komahangano gopondje...

3 weeks ago - 28 February 2019 | Infrastructure

OGONE TLHAGEEhangano lyaChina lyoChina Harbor Engineering Company, olya tulwa momusholondondo gwokulonga oopoloyeka adhihe dhoka mbali.Ehangano ndyoka olya ningi eindilo lyiimanga kumwe nehangano lyomoshilongo lyoRoadhart CC...

Foreigners dominate bids

3 weeks ago - 26 February 2019 | Infrastructure

A total of 25 companies have been shortlisted for the construction and upgrade of the Walvis Bay-Kranzberg railway line and the construction of a new...

N$500 million bailout for RA

3 weeks ago - 25 February 2019 | Infrastructure

The Road Fund Administration (RFA) has bailed out the Roads Authority (RA) to the tune of N$500 million, so the ailing parastatal can settle outstanding...

First Lady enters shack fray

1 month - 20 February 2019 | Infrastructure

First Lady Monica Geingos has reached out to experts to bring their ideas on how to solve the housing crisis to the attention of policymakers....

Latest News

Namibians first!

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

The Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia has proposed that bidders with less than 100% ownership by Namibian citizens should be disqualified from bidding for...

2019 ‘to-do’ lists for business...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Columns

Getting your business off to a great start in a new year requires planning, critical thinking and dedication to executing your strategy.We asked Forbes Coaches...

A fierce corporate climber

1 day - 22 March 2019 | People

Carlota David-Howoses was born and grew up in Rundu.She attended Noordgrens Secondary School in Rundu, then moved over to Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb and...

We are at a crossroads

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Opinion

I remember when I turned 29. The battle scars were starting to show. There were hard decisions. The hangovers of 'nice times' and the gay...

Pupkewitz Megaboards opens door

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

Pupkewitz Megabuild recently opened a new subsidiary, Pupkewitz Megaboards. “Pupkewitz Megabuild continues to expand its product and service offering in line with the Pupkewitz Group’s...

Satrix lists ETFs on local...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

Satrix on Tuesday announced its secondary listing of its global exchange traded funds (ETFs) suite on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).The listing is the first...

Corruption - A social disease...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Columns

Johan Coetzee - One of the most popular indices used by investors to provide them with an indication of the level of corruption and governance...

Government pharmaceutical plant on hold

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Health

Government's plan to construct a pharmaceutical plant is on hold until various agreements are reached with private sector partners involved in the project.This is according...

Local content top priority

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Economics

A 'buy local' policy with local content requirements will, in the long run, help smaller businesses to sell goods and services to government.This was the...

Load More