Windhoek's water situation dire

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.

The weekly water watch issued for the week ending 9 September showed that residents failed to reach the target of 465 000 cubic metres, instead over-consuming by 1% with total consumption measured at 468 493 cubic metres.

Windhoek municipality spokesperson Lydia Amutenya warned that the overconsumption is worrying. “As consumers we need to intensify our savings efforts and adhere to the water restrictions in place,” she said. The weekly average over-consumption stood at 1.2% by the end of last week, with the municipality again warning that while the savings target is 15%, during the winter months 5% to 10% additional savings are crucial in order to compensate for the expected high consumption levels during the hotter months.

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.

In mid-August, the municipality warned that the additional 5% to 10% required for the winter months was not once achieved, but that residents did manage not to overstep the set target of 465 000 cubic metres.

The weekly water watch ending 2 September showed a 3% saving was recorded, with the actual consumption recorded at 452 500 cubic metres. For the week ending 27 August, a 5% saving was recorded, with actual consumption at 441 000 cubic metres, the lowest water consumption recorded since the beginning of May.

For the week ending 12 August, actual consumption reached 463 252.24 cubic metres, and for the week ending 5 August, residents consumed 447 771 cubic metres.



Tight

In May, the City tightened water restrictions, implementing the severe water scarcity 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 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%).

“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.”

JANA-MARI SMITH

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