Dams at shockingly low levels

After months of requests from the Windhoek ­municipality, residents are taking water consumption a little more seriously.

11 August 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh



Residents of the capital are ­finally taking water savings a little more seriously and managed to save 4% last week.

According to Lydia Amutenya of the City of Windhoek (CoW), the current weekly target for water­ consumption in the capital is 465 000 m³ and in the week ending 5 August, residents consumed about 447 771 m³ of water.

Since the beginning of July, residents have improved on weekly targets, with the exception of the last week in July when 1% more water was used than is allowable. Between 1 and 8 July, 2% less water was used than the weekly target, while 1% less water was used between 8 and 15 July and 3% less during the week of 15 to 22 July.

However, the municipality says that Windhoekers will have to use water frugally, as these savings are very close to reaching or exceeding target levels.

In the meantime, harsher drought rates for excessive water use have been implemented and ordinary water rates also increased by an average of 5%.

“We thank our residents for the positive efforts made during the past week and hope to achieve even better water savings in the future. Also note that water restrictions that apply during a severe water emergency (category D) came into effect on 1 July. Let's keep using water sparingly, because every drop counts,” Amutenya said.



Estimates

According to NamWater's latest dam report released earlier this week, water levels are currently at a national average of 26% (181 932 million cubic meters of water or Mm³) compared to last season's 40.4% (283 884 Mm³).

The Goreangab and Naute dams are still the fullest at 100.3% (3 630 Mm³) and 85% (71 013 Mm³), respectively, while dams supplying central Namibia collectively hold only 16.8% (25914 Mm³) of water.

The Omatako dam's level is the lowest in the central area, followed by the Swakoppoort dam with only 9.9% (6 312 Mm³) of water left. The Von Bach dam has 41.2% (or 19 602 Mm³) left, with water transfers taking place from the Swakoppoort dam to the Von Bach dam.

The Friedenau dam has 25.3% (or 1 701 Mm³) of water and the Olu­shandja dam stands at 25.4% (or 11,599 Mm³). Hardap currently has 17.5% (or 51 607 Mm³) remaining, while the Oanob dam has 46.8% (16 164 Mm³) left.

Gobabis dams have on average only 1.4% of water, with the Otjivero dam standing at 2.4% (0.233 Mm³) and the Tilda Viljoen dam with 2.2% (0.027 Mm³) water remaining.

The Daan Viljoen dam has 1.1% (0.004 Mm³) left.

The levels of the latter two dams are so low that they had to be estimated, NamWater said.

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